It was a triples final for the ages between underdogs Simon Ayris, Bill Chambers and Chris Wolak, against the vastly experienced John Zittersteijn, Grant Harvey, and Paul Midgely.
The North Harbour team didn’t appear to be fazed though. Ayris was a member of the Northern Zone Academy that played the day before, and on his road to the final he defeated top seeds such as Alex Reed, Nathan Trowell, Joseph Zino and Simon Poppleton.
On a mat that has earned a reputation for fine lines, unforgiving swings and unexpected holds, all six players settled in quickly and set the tone for what was to be an exceptional final.
Neither team scored more than two points an end, keeping the game tight with the lead changing often. As the tenth end rolled around the score was locked at six apiece, with the majority of the end favouring team Ayris for the win.
It was John Zittersteijn who had the final say though, and he played his match winner to absolute perfection: elating for one team, heartbreaking for another.
The win gives Zittersteijn an impressive seven titles, Grant Harvey his fourth (one from each decade starting from the 1990’s), and Paul Midgley a milestone fifth for a gold star. Midgley’s titles are as follows: 2011 National Singles, 2011 National Fours, 2013 National Triples, 2015 National Fours, 2023 National Triples.
It was also great to see Taranaki’s Martin Harding, Chris Reed and Ella Smailes reach the semi final; as well as Auckland’s Simon Poppleton, Rodney Mills and Georgia Fisher.
Access the full results here: https://docs.google.com/.../1gnPrOzvlRla2hBz5degIBjv.../edit