Preddy plays key role in Blossom Festival fours win

The experienced Shona Preddy was an accurate lead and played a key role in the combined team's win in the fours at the 57th annual Alexandra Blossom Festival tournament at the weekend.

Preddy, who lives on the family lifestyle farm at Romahapa, in the Catlins, was playing in a combined team with Paretai clubmate Biddy Craig.

It was skipped by Southland contractor Peter Carnie and his wife, Elaine, who are both Southland representatives and won the Blossom Festival fours in 2014.

Preddy, one of the best indoor bowlers in South Otago, added two more titles this year and now has eight centre titles.

The only other time South Otago players have been in a winning fours team was in 1985.

They comfortably beat the defending champion South Canterbury team of Neville, Kylie and Ruth Gould and Debra Ruffell (South Canterbury) 10-3 in the final.

The Cromwell team of John Leyser, Kevin Hurley, Ev Bisset and Gloria Hurley (Central Otago) finished third when it beat the Canterbury team skipped by David Philpot (Canterbury) 5-2 in the playoff.

Bisset and the Hurley husband and wife pair finished runner-up in the fours last year.

The popular annual tournament is one of the longest-running indoor bowls events in the country and always attracts the best bowlers in the South Island.

There were 36 teams in the fours and 18 in the pairs won by Southland's Matthew and Greg Heads, who beat the South Otago husband and wife team of David and Colleen Fenton 8-7 on an extra end.

It was 7-7 after the regulation nine ends. Skip Matthew Head just managed to squeeze his bowl closest to the jack on the extra end.

The Ken Hinton Trophy for the best performance by Central Otago bowlers was won jointly by John Leyser and Ev Bisset.

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