What a feast of bowls it was, when the annual Fulton Hogan Wanaka Men’s Classic Fours Invitational Bowls tournament took place on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 January at the Wanaka Bowling Club.


This is the major tournament on the Wanaka Bowling Club’s calendar and attracts a lot of interest from South Island bowlers.


There was a full field of 16 teams entered, including a number of composite teams that included a number of well performed bowlers from Wellington, Dunedin, Southland, Nelson and Central Otago as well as Wanaka Bowling Club members. 


Wanaka turned on two almost windless, sunny days for the 70 games that were played over the two days in front of an appreciative group of spectators. 


After the first day the field was divided, with the top eight teams competing in the Main Event and the bottom eight teams playing in the Plate Event. 


The final of the 10 end Plate Event was fought out between Bannockburn (Terry Collins(s), Wilson Moir, Bryan Neill, Dave Stewart) and one of the Wanaka teams (Stu Hurley(s), Murray Finn, Murray Ives, Lowell Croft). 







                                                       Murray Ives, Murray Finn, Stu Hurley, Lowell Croft

Bannockburn got away to a flying start and led 8-4 after 5 ends but that was the end of their scoring, with Wanaka piling on the pressure with some excellent draw bowls and winning the remaining 5 ends to come out the winners of the Plate Event by 17-8. Well done to Stu Hurley’s team.


The final of the Main Event was between another Wanaka team (Don Cameron(s), Ken Allison, Fin McRae,, Bob Steel) and a composite team - Eion Willis(s) (St Clair), Bruce Robertson (Fairfield), George Cameron (Wanaka), Ken Muir (Wanaka).


Every end of this 12 end game was fiercely competed, with the lead often changing during an end. Whatever Wanaka did was thwarted by Team Willis that scored a ‘1’ on each of the first 6 ends to lead 6-0.


The 7th end saw Wanaka at last getting on the scoreboard, winning 3 ends in a row to trail by 4-6, and looking more likely. Team Willis came back with 2 on the 10th end to consolidate their lead at 8-4. Despite all their efforts, Wanaka could not reduce the deficit and Team Willis, who were ‘runner’s up’ in 2019, ran out the winners by 9-5.   





















                                                        George Cameron, Ken Muir, Eion Willis, Bruce Robertson


                                                    INAUGURAL BOWLS3FIVE TOURNAMENT

This was held on the Saturday of Labour Weekend with a great entry of 48 members necessitating 8 rinks to be used for the 16 participating teams. This tournament gave the club's members their first chance to try out the new format that is being introduced throughout the country.

Before play commenced, Stu Hurley did a great job explaining the format changes, including mat and jack placement options, 'double point' power plays and tie breakers.

Three games of 2 sets were played with quite a number requiring a one end tie breaker to be played where each team had won one set. All good fun.

                                                                             RECENT BOOKING

The club regularly hosts groups who want to bowl and socialise. One such group we hosted on Tuesday November 20 was a pre wedding 'stag do' with a real international flavour because a kiwi bloke was marrying an american lass. As such the group consisted 4 Kiwis, 10 from the USA and one each from Canada and Mexico. 

Some had played bowls before and others had not. Marg Young and her team did a great job teaching the basics and getting games going. They were all quick learners and, given further tuition, many of the group would make very good bowlers.


As the pictures will show everyone had a great time - particularly the 'bride' groom. Good luck to Jason and his bride to be Kim who will reside in Denver, Colorado.

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