Bay two beat shearing legend to win finals

Two Hawke's Bay shearers have taken the top spots in the New Zealand championships open final in Te Kuiti.

Winner Rowland Smith and runner-up John Kirkpatrick fought off Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan to take the lead positions in a close battle.

Fagan, winner of five individual world titles, was first to finish the 20- sheep contest but had to settle for fourth place once quality points were counted.

Smith and Kirkpatrick will represent New Zealand at this year's world championships.

Taihape woolhandler Sheree Alabaster won the New Zealand Open woolhandling title for a seventh time, after the surprise semifinal elimination of reigning World and Golden Shears champion Joel Henare.

Open class woolhandler Logan Kamura, of Marton, was second, and third was Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu.

In other events, Kirkpatrick won the New Zealand Shears Open Circuit shearing over five fine-woolled merinos, five crossbred ewes and five lambs.

Masterton-based shearer Casey Bailey, of Riverton, won the senior shearing final.