O'Connor shines in Central Otago victory

Queenstown's Margaret O'Connor played a key role in Central Otago's dominance of the women's event against Southland at Invercargill on Sunday.

Central Otago won the annual match by 21 points (differential plus 9) to 15 (minus 9). The team won seven games to Southland's five.

O'Connor, who started playing bowls when she shifted to Queenstown with husband Michael 18 years ago, skipped the four of Andrea Dowman, Jane Anderson, and Pam Walker to two wins.

They comfortably beat Southland's Claire McKee 31-12 in the first game and won 14-13 in the second game against Maree Jones, Angela Johnstone, Kerry Heffer and Jan Low.

O'Connor has been escaping the Queenstown winter for the past 12 years by playing on the Sunshine Coast for three months. She has won 32 Central Otago titles.

The other Central Otago fours team of Imela Holdom, Diane Brash, Sue Helm and Alice Turnbull also gained two wins.

It beat the Southland four skipped by Lynda Milne 21-15 in the first game and McKee's four 19-17 in the second game.

Christine Buchanan continued the dominance of Central Otago with two wins in the singles when she beat Gill Swale 25-14 and Bronwyn Stevens 25-20.

Southland won the open men's event by 25 points (differential plus 51) to 10 (minus 51) and the men's development match 15-3.

The best Central Otago combination was the men's pair of Alister Watson and Connor Muir who drew with Roger Stevens and Aaron Tribe 19-19 and beat Shane Elliot and Kerry Flowers 23-16.

In the singles, Howard O'Donnell beat Gore's Sheldon Bagrie-Howley 25-23 and lost to New Zealand PBA team membre Craig Merrilees 25-24.

The only Central Otago winning team in the development competition was the pair of John Lochhead and Martin Ross who beat Southland's Matt Tautari and Brad Allan 24-12.

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