Five time National Pairs champions, Grant L’Ami and Mike Phipps, prove time and time again they are the best pairs combination in New Zealand.
While neither of them have played the usual amount of bowls this year, their class and smarts shine through, and that winning edge is still very present.
Grant and Mike were made to work hard in section play after losing to Derek and Carolyn Cooper in the second round, and a closely fought match against Ashley Diamond and Sheree Holmes resulted in a draw to see them sneak through into post section.
From there they put out Steve Mills, David Archer, and MT Hooper before an incredible game against Simon Thomas and Jeremy Markham in the semi final.
Joseph Zino and Lois Randall also had a great run, defeating Greg Edwards, Marcus Trlin, Brandon Fuge and Tony Griffin on their road to the final.
L’Ami and Phipps drew first blood but were quickly overtaken by Zino and Randall. It remained a close game but the turning point was on the seventh end. The head favoured Zino, but L’Ami played a stunning shot to push a bowl to the back, and his collision bowl trailed the jack to it. When the dust settled he sat with two shots.
Zino still had an opportunity to pinch the jack and pull it through to score a two himself, but being a touch heavy saw the jack go off the mat. This made the score 6-5 to L’Ami with two ends to play.
Fast forward to the final bowl of the match, Zino was extremely close to landing two shots and forcing an extra end, but instead slid through a gap and trickled off the mat.
Congratulations to Grant L’Ami and Mike Phipps on a fantastic result. This gives them two island titles, the first being a triples in 2018.
1st - Grant L’Ami and Mike Phipps
2nd - Joseph Zino and Lois Randall
3rd equal - Simon Thomas and Jeremy Markham
3rd equal - Tony Griffin and Linda Marshall