National cherry spitting champs in Cromwell

Former All Black and Highlanders captain, Jamie Mackintosh, made a surprise appearance at the New Zealand Cherry Spitting championships in Cromwell yesterday afternoon.

Mackintosh (27) stopped off in Cromwell on his way to fellow Southland rugby team mate Hoani MacDonald's wedding ceremony in Clyde.

Although Mackintosh showed good technique he never challenged the winning distance of 11.5 metres achieved by Michael Wardill of Cromwell.

Wardill just managed to pip Perth-based Australian Champion Clinton Thompson who held the lead for the majority of the competiton.

Thompson was the surprise winner of the Australian championship last month in Manjimup and won a trip to New Zealand as part of his prize package.


- Photos and story by Joe Allison; more photos at