It was Bowls Dunedin's day. The men's inter-centre team
is back on top of the pole after eight long years.
Dunedin gained its 13th inter-centre win when it beat
Manawatu 2-1 at Auckland on Sunday.
The annual event was first held in 1970 and Dunedin has the
most wins with 13. Its last win was at Palmerston North in
Dunedin first won the event when it had three wins in a row
Key players at that time were Gordon Jolly, Ernie Wilson,
Bill Cousins and Kevin Darling.
The other wins were in 1982-83, 1985, 1988, 1993-95, and
2001. Key players in Dunedin teams in the early 1980s were
Ian Dickison, Duncan and Stewart McConnell and fours lead
Terry Scott, a member of the Dunedin team from 1980 to 2005,
was in the winning team on nine occasions. His first title
was in 1982. Veteran Ken Walker won the title eight times.
Neville Hill, who played for five centres, including Dunedin,
won the event seven times. The result of the final between
Dunedin and Manawatu came down to the last end in the fours.
Mike Kernaghan had won the singles for Dunedin but Manawatu
took the pairs.
Manawatu was leading the fours 11-10 before the last end and
Dunedin needed two shots to win the national title.
Fours skip Kerry Becks held his nerve as his team scored two
shots on the last end to win the game 12-11.
Becks (47) has played bowls for 28 years and was a member of
the Canterbury team that won the inter-centre event in 2007.
He had won five Canterbury titles before the Christchurch
earthquake led to him shifting to Dunedin.
Kernaghan won his eight singles games in the finals weekend
and was the only unbeaten player. His best scalp was that of
World Bowls singles bronze medallist Shannon McIlroy
(Nelson). He also beat Andrew Kelly (Canterbury).
Singles: Mike Kernaghan. Pairs: Mark Watt, Shaun
Scott. Fours: Craig McCaw, Ross Brown, Regan Larkin, Kerry