Bowls: St Clair withstands late run

Skip Trish Marr, of the winning St Clair team, delivers a bowl during the semifinals of the Dunedin women's fours championships against North East Valley yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Skip Trish Marr, of the winning St Clair team, delivers a bowl during the semifinals of the Dunedin women's fours championships against North East Valley yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Trish Marr's St Clair team held on desperately to win the Bowls Dunedin women's open fours last night.

The St Clair team of Marr, Carolyn Crawford, Gaynor Moss, Daphne Hynes beat sue Hodges, Cindi Ewart, Mary Stevenson and Marion Hambleton (Outram) 16-13 in a tense final.

Heavy rain caused both the men's singles and the women's fours to be transferred to the Westpac Indoor Bowls Stadium.

It was the seventh centre title for Marr, the 19th for Crawford, the 16th for Hynes and the first for Moss.

Marr had the magic touch and played some superb shots to give St Clair a 12-0 lead after just six ends and it was still in front 14-1 after nine of the 15 ends.

Marr was not confident of a win at that stage.

''Sometimes a confident early start can lead to a lapse later.''

Marr killed the first end when St Clair was two shots down on the head and on the second end drove out the Outram shot bowl to gain the point.

On the third end she trailed the jack for two shots when one down on the head.

The fifth end was decisive when St Clair drew five shots to lead 10-0. Marr added two bonus shots on that end.

The other star of the St Clair team was veteran Hynes, who dominated the lead bowls and made seven touchers.

She kept putting pressure on Outram and gave St Clair the early advantage on each end.

Third-year bowler Moss was nervous at the start but once she settled, she played some accurate positioning shots.

Crawford left her best for the final ends, when St Clair was trying desperately to stop Outram's finishing rush. She used her experience to put bowls close to the jack and did this superbly on the replay of the 15th end.

Hodges was the best of the Outram team and gave her side hope when she trailed the jack for three on the 10th end when Outram was two down on the head. That was the start of the fightback. Outram scored 12 shots on the last six ends.

''It was anyone's game at that stage,'' Marr said.

''It was quite nerve-wracking.''

The other strong player for Outram was Hambleton, who was playing third and was able to play pressure bowls. She made five touchers in the game.

In the semifinals, St Clair beat Kay Hammond, Abbey Dugdale, Rebecca Jelley, Shona Mann (North East Valley) 14-11 and Hodges beast Gloria Shine (Andersons Bay) 16-15.

Blair Barringer (Fairfield) was the giant killer in the men's open singles, beating two of the stars of Dunedin bowls.

In the quarterfinals, he beat New Zealand singles champion Shaun Scott (North East Valley) 21-14 and in the semifinals he downed former Commonwealth Games singles bronze medallist Mike Kernaghan (Kaikorai) 21-18.

Kernaghan was leading 18-11 before Barringer fought back with his accurate draw bowls .

The other semifinal was won by Terry Scott (North East Valley) when he outplayed Alan Auguston (Andersons Bay) 21-6.

Terry Scott and Barringer will play the final at Fairfield on Wednesday, from 6.30pm.