Congratulations to the players selected for the Academy and Masters teams, particularly those who have been selected for the first time - of which there are many!
This year, both sides are divided into Northern and Southern Zones, and are competing once again for the Sam Henderson Memorial Trophy (Academy) and the Delwyn Hughes Trophy (Masters). The South won both events back in 2018, however the North are the current holders.
With the South gaining the Greater Wellington area, selectors have grabbed the opportunity to inject Joseph Zino as skip of the men’s four. Zino is extremely well-accomplished and brings vast experience to his team of up-and-coming bowlers – Kaleb Johnston, Sam Anderson, and Jeremy Markham. Kaleb made headlines when he won the NZ Junior Singles in 2018 and 2019, while Sam and Jeremy came close to winning a National Open title in Rotorua two years ago.
At the same token, the Northern Zone are fortunate to have former Mat Black Linda McCurdy skipping the women’s four. She is in terrific form and will be of great value to Cindy White, Georgia Fisher and Tracey Ludeman who makes her debut.
Locals can look forward to cheering on the Marlborough duo of former Mat Black Lois Randall and radio extraordinaire Georgia Watt who will make a strong combination. They will have a battle on their hands against former North Island Representative Rochelle Cameron and 2019 NZ Fours Champion Delwyn Ellis. This will be Delwyn’s third appearance leading the pairs.
Over in the Master’s event, it is hard to look past the Southern Zone men’s team. 2017 Masters Singles Champion, Brian Hotton, will be back in the singles spot, while the well-respected Frank McKenna will skip the men’s pairs. Then comes the powerhouse triples team of Fred Persico, Nigel Warnes and Trevor Rayner.
The Northern Zone Masters have some weapons of their own though, including National Masters Champions Ton Kaan, Andrew Brunton, Colleen Riddock, and Etty Wells; plus National Gold Star holder Lorraine Phipps in the women’s singles for good measure.
Good luck to all players. May the best zone win!