North Taranaki have retained the Welch Trophy in Christchurch Sunday afternoon - but only just.
The defending champions must have had some anxious moments in the final round of pairs, as they won only one game, giving them three points.
In contrast chasing sides Counties and Waikato won two games for six points while closest rivals Ashburton picked up a win and a draw for 4.5 points.
North Taranaki finished up with 105.5 points, Ashburton were second on 103.5, and Counties were third on 101.5 points. In order the other teams were Upper Hutt Valley, 85.5, Waikato, 81.5 and Otago 62.5 .
Upper Hutt Valley recorded three wins and a draw in the final pairs for 10.5 points to overhaul Waikato.
The most successful singles players were Alister Wilson (North Taranaki) with 5 wins, and Kath Arvidson (Counties ) with 4.5.
Overall Alister Wilson had 11.5 wins as also did Des Hawkins (Ashburton).
Final Point Standings:
NT 105.5, AS 103.5, CS 101.5, UV 85.5, WK 81.5, OT 62.5