Bowling News

Qualifiers emerge for 2023 Summerset Nationals

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After two days of play at the 2023 Summerset National Fours, qualifiers in the men’s and women’s field have emerged in Central Otago.


Returning to the inland province for the second time in three years, more than 1000 bowlers have descended on the greens, vying for a national title in either the fours, and/or mixed pairs – the latter event set to get underway early next week.


At the completion of six rounds, there have been few upsets to report in the fours, with the pre-tournament favourites remaining in contention as the post-section format gets underway on Saturday.


In the men’s action, the initial 120 combinations has been whittled down to 54, with a minimum of four wins required to qualify. Among those qualifiers include defending champions Maurice Symes, John Gray, Steve Beel and Craig Macdonell, along with some powerhouse quartets vying for top honour. With yet another title up for grabs, recently crowned national pairs champion Gary Lawson will be looking to continue putting daylight between his current national title haul, teaming up with the in-form Tony Grantham, Jamie Hill and Neville Rodda, posing as taxing opposition by anyones’ standards.


Other top sides include national singles champion Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and his line-up of Caleb Hope, Keanu Darby and Oliver Mason, Wellington stars Andrew Kelly, Raymond Martin, Finbar McGuigan and Seamus Curtin and Lance Pascoe, Kelvin Scott, Nathan Glasson and Rory Soden, among others.


Meanwhile, reigning champions Mandy Boyd, Kirsten Edwards, Angela Boyd and Amy McIlroy (replacing Leigh Griffin), have comfortably won their way through to the next round, setting up a first-round post-section encounter opposite Sharon Sims, Bronwyn Stevens, Mary Campbell and Leanne Poulson.


Other qualifiers include former Australian Open women’s fours champion Diane Strawbridge, Southland/Central Otago composite Lynda Milne, Linley O’Callaghan, Angela Johnstone and Christine Buchanan, South Canterbury hopefuls Sharon Leonard, Shirley Moffatt, Julie Robins and Janice Williams, New Zealand representative Val Smith and her side of Deb White, Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Kimberley Hemingway, Clare Hendra, Natarsha Grimshaw, Kirsty Hill and Kennie Critchlow and the star-studded four of Dale Rayner, Kaaren Guilford, Reen Belliss and Linda Ralph – with the latter two also going head to head in the opening round.


In total, 28 qualifiers emerged from the initial women’s field of 67…

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