Grigg beats defending champion

Lee Grigg (Green Island) is in her delivery stride as Beth Brown (Taieri) looks on anxiously....
Lee Grigg (Green Island) is in her delivery stride as Beth Brown (Taieri) looks on anxiously. Grigg won the women's champion of champion singles title 21-12. PHOTO: WAYNE PARSONS
Nagging line-and-length delivery from Lee Grigg (Green Island) helped unseat defending champion Beth Brown (Taieri) in the champion of champions women's singles at the St Clair Bowling Club on Sunday.

Grigg (41), the office manager for Pegasus Rental Cars, narrowly survived a first-round 21-20 scare against Tanya Whiteley (Outram).

But after squeaking past Whiteley, Grigg then had further hurdles to overcome as she faced sudden-death matches against top players such as Carolyn Crawford (St Clair) in the quarterfinals, and Tongan international and 2018 Dunedin club bowler of the year, Malia Tavite, in the semifinal.

The tough opponents just kept coming when she then had to face tournament favourite, and arguably Otago’s top women's singles player, Brown in the final.

Browen, for her part, had displayed some impressive results on the other side of the draw.

Brown claimed first blood, scoring two on the first end in the race to score 21.

Fortunes then turned the way of Grigg as she consistently placed her shots around the head,to come within sight of victory when holding an 18-8 lead after 15 ends.

Brown hit the comeback trail, scoring two on each of the next two ends and holding four shots on the 18th. A comeback of epic proportions appeared likely.

But the final bowl of Grigg's on the 18th end was top-notch as it made its way straight to the head, pushing the jack into the ditch to draw three shots from her back bowls allowing her to claim her second Dunedin Centre title 21-12.

"I struggled a little bit, but to get that drive on the final end, I'm really pleased. It was my only drive all day," Grigg said.

"Beth and I have been in so many finals over the years, and I've never beaten her, and to finally get one over the line is pretty thrilling."

Grigg's victory at the Green Island Club is sure to be one to saviour after a season of near-misses, in which representatives from the club have recorded a series of runner-up results to the Taieri club.

"It was a difficult green today, but Lee was just more consistent and fully deserves her victory," Brown said.

Both players are in the seven-player squad to play in the zone finals beginning in Wellington next Thursday. Brown will play singles and Grigg in the pairs.

- The final of the men's champion of champion singles between Jack Gibbs (Tainui) and Mike Pattillo (Roslyn) will be played at Kaikorai Bowling Club on Thursday at 2pm.

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