Composite team skip Nigel Birkbeck delivers a bowl as
Andersons Bay skip Evan Roberts looks on during the
Kaikorai Festival Fours final at the Kaikorai Bowling club
yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Nigel Birkbeck's magic month continued yesterday when he
skipped the winning team in the annual Kaikorai Festival Fours.
The Composite team of Bobby Johnson, John Cross, Regan Larkin
and Birkbeck comfortably beat the Andersons Bay combination
of Kerry Roberts, Graeme Cocks, Jocko Susilo and Evan Roberts
22-12 in the final on the Kaikorai green.
Birkbeck (48), the owner of BJB Securities, won his eighth
Bowls Dunedin title in the pairs early last month and before
Christmas played a key role in helping the Wakari club win
the Dunedin Interclub Sevens final.
Birkbeck used his aggressive style to upset the rhythm of the
Andersons Bay teamOn the fifth end he drew the bonus shot to
give his team three points and the lead 7-2.
Two ends later he drove the jack into the ditch to take two
shots when down two on the head.
It was part of a purple patch when Birkbeck's team scored 11
points from the fifth to the eighth ends to take a commanding
15-2 lead. The eighth end was the break point when the
Composite team drew five shots.
I attacked a few times and got the jack into the ditch at
other times,'' Birkbeck said.
When you take the shots off them when they are holding it can
Birkbeck was brought into the team to replace Ken Walker who
is playing in the New Zealand championships at New Plymouth.
The other three team members had reached the final of the
Festival Fours for the third year. They finished runner-up in
2011 and last year.
The game came close to the shake hands'' time when Birkbeck's
four added a three and two on the 11th and 12th ends to lead
Lead Johnson was running hot for the first 12 ends and got
the better of his opponent. Larkin put his bowls in the way
when the Andersons' Bay team had bowls close to the jack.
But a game of bowls can produce ironic twists and this
happened on the 13th end when the Composite team had two
shots on the head.
Cross put too much weight on his toucher and the jack
squirted sideways and Andersons Bay collected four shots to
come back into the game.
They added three more on the next end to produce some worried
looks in Birkbeck's team.
Cross redeemed himself on the 15th end when he drew a toucher
and it remained the shot.
In the semifinals Birkbeck beat Gary Clegg (Mornington) 17-2
and Andersons Bay beat Dave Budge (Kaikorai) 16-14.
The strong Composite team of Steve Fleming, Steve Wilson,
Rodney Fleming and Mike Kernaghan had a comfortable 14-2 win
over Dan O'Leary, Peter Wilson, Mike Cranston and Graeme
Allan's Composite four in the plate final.