Bowls: Dunedin wins 13th inter-centre title

Mike Kernagham.
Mike Kernagham.
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 2005.

Dunedin first won the event when it had three wins in a row from 1973-75.

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 Ernie Andrews.

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).


NZ champion
Dunedin team

Singles: Mike Kernaghan. Pairs: Mark Watt, Shaun Scott. Fours: Craig McCaw, Ross Brown, Regan Larkin, Kerry Becks.


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