Thirty-four District singles champions will compete in the national final of the New Zealand Indoor Bowls Henselite Champion of Champions Singles, to be held at the Canterbury Indoor Bowls Hall, Kearney’s Road, Christchurch commencing at 1pm on Saturday September 21st.
Last year’s champion Marcus Trlin, Hutt Valley did not qualify to defend his title but the third equal placegetter Grant Wilson, Ashburton has made it safely through.
In a high class field that includes two Mat Blacks, six Island representatives and eleven former New Zealand and Island representatives it will not be an easy task to make it through section play to have a chance to win the prestigious Henselite Trophy.
Four former winners of this event Grant Wilson Ashburton - 2013, Gary Low Southland - 2011, Joseph Zino Hutt Valley - 2009 and Mathew Begg Central Otago - 2004 and six players who have won the National Championship Singles Gary Low Southland - 2018, Joseph Zino Hutt Valley - 2012, Chris Matthews Canterbury - 2008, Bruce Meyer Manawatu - 2002 and 2003, Pat Hoult, Upper Hutt Valley - 1994 and Kevin Boothby Thames Valley - 1972 will contribute to a cut-throat section play.
The two Mat Blacks are Low and Paul Smith, Tauranga who finished runner-up in the Open Singles to Tim Veale at the Nationals in Rotorua this year.
The current Island representatives that competed in the Inter-Island match recently are Steve Fisher Auckland, Sharon Peters North Harbour, Mark Ridley North Taranaki, David Archer Waikato, Hayden Warnes Nelson and David Webb, Otago. Fisher was runner-up in the Open Singles in 2017 and won the men’s singles Inter-Island medal this year.
Eight women are in the field headed by North Island representative Sharon Peters, North Harbour and former NI rep Elizabeth Morrow from King Country.
Jakeb White from Counties won the Cliff Thompson Trophy for the best Junior in the Open Singles at the nationals in 2017 and 2018, was runner-up in the Junior Singles in 2014 and 2017 and won the Gold Medal at the NZ Secondary Schools Singles in 2014 and was selected for the North Island Academy team this year and has a promising indoor bowls career ahead of him.
The contestants are:
Grant Wilson (Ashburton), Steve Fisher (Auckland), Gavin Rennie (Bay of Plenty), Cameron McKay (Bush Ruahine), Chris Matthews (Canterbury), Mathew Begg (Central Otago), Jakeb White (Counties), Hayden Warnes (Golden Bay-Motueka), Emma Ludeman (Hawkes Bay), Bruce Pedley (Horowhenua), Joseph Zino (Hutt Valley), Elizabeth Morrow (King Country), Bruce Meyer (Manawatu), Natasha McLaughlan-Neal (Marlborough), Giovanni Persico (Nelson), Sharon Peters (North Harbour), Gordon Robb (North Otago), Mark Ridley (North Taranaki), Jeff Stuart (North Wellington), Eilean Rawson (Northland), David Webb (Otago), David Lynn (Poverty Bay), Ross Brayshaw (Roskill and Districts), John Whiting (South Canterbury), Peter Grant (South Otago), Gary Low (Southland), Noeleen Picard (Taranaki), Paul Smith (Tauranga), Kevin Boothby (Thames Valley), Patrick Hoult (Upper Hutt Valley), David Archer (Waikato), Marilyn O’Neale (Wairarapa), Les Heywood (Wanganui) and Brenda Young (West Coast).