Upsets the order of the day

02 Aug 2016

There were plenty of upsets around the country in the latest New Zealand Professional Bowls Association qualifiers at the weekend as players battled to reach the World Indoor Singles championship at Potter's Leisure Resort in England next January.

Auckland's top ranked player Rob Ashton fell at the semifinal stage to Steve Hoeft who in turn lost to North Harbour's Bart Robertson in the final who won both singles tournaments at the Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club.

Debbie Wilford repeated her success from last year's World Indoor Singles qualifier at the Paritutu Club in New Plymouth beating rookie John Roberts in a tight see-saw final. Wilford came through a tough draw including wins over visitors Kevin Rice (Kapiti Coast) and Jayden Ravji (Wellington).

New Zealand number one Murray Glassey finally lost a qualifier at the Heretaunga Club in Hastings for the first time in two years going down to Dean Drummond in the first round. This was their eighth meeting since Drummond joined in 2014. However he could not continue the momentum falling to eventual runner-up Ian Mason. Neither Mason nor rookie Bradley Down of Wellington had played in a PBA singles final before but they did not disappoint in a great match before the 17-year old Down prevailed in the third tiebreak end.

With Australasian champion Ken Walker inhibited by a wheelchair after a gardening mishap, the Dunedin field was wide open with several favoured names falling by the wayside as the weekend progressed. Aidan Lusby came through a particularly hard draw including Andrew Kelly (Canterbury) and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (Southland) as scalps but he was unable to overcome fellow local Doug Thomas in a fantastic final. Thomas won the Dunedin World Indoor Singles qualifier for the third time and will hope to return to the Potter's Leisure Resort where he played in 2007. Lusby also reached the final of the House of Travel World Indoor Pairs qualifier with partner Paul King but will play Kelly and Andy McLean (Dunedin) during the next qualifier weekend in two weeks time.

New Zealand number two Craig Merrilees continued his good form but fell at the last hurdle to Central Otago's Richie Muir in the final at the Waverley Club in Invercargill. Muir had a very good weekend also reaching the final of the Ranking Singles event the previous day and will be one of two rookies playing off at Finals Weekend to represent the NZ PBA at the World Indoor Singles.

Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club, Auckland:

Ranking Singles:
1st round: Garry Banks bt Steve Hoeft 10-4, 7-3; Frankie Lim bt Julie Kerry 13-8, 13-1; Linda Ralph bt Gary Brecken 11-6, 6-10, 2-0; Adrienne Tilyard bt Gerard Hulst 8-4, 3-8, 2-1.
2nd round: Lim bt Banks 9-7, 12-7; Ralph bt Tilyard 6-4, 8-6; Norm Scott-Morrison bt Leeane Poulson 6-6, 7-2; Natarsha Grimshawbt Ben Hilless 12-3, 5-6, 2-1; Gayle Melrose bt John Inkster 8-8, 9-5; Rob Ashton bt Wayne Glogoski 14-1, 12-5; Bart Robertson bt Graham Skellern 10-1, 14-0; Phil Taylor bt Alan Spacey 8-6, 10-2.
Quarterfinals: Ralph bt Lim 13-6, 2-9, 2-1; Grimshaw bt Scott-Morrison by default; Ashton bt Melrose 8-5, 8-7; Robertson bt Taylor 11-1, 10-3.
Semifinals: Ralph bt Grimshaw 6-5, 6-9, 2-1; Robertson bt Ashton 10-8, 8-3.
Final: Bart Robertson (North Harbour) bt Linda Ralph (Auckland) 11-6, 6-8, 2-0.

World Indoor Singles Qualifier:
1st round: Adrienne Tilyard bt Gary Brecken 8-6, 6-6; Bart Robertson bt Linda Ralph 3-11, 14-5, 2-1; Natarsha Grimshaw bt Garry Banks 8-6, 6-7, 2-0; Graham Skellern bt Ben Hilless 15-4, 2-8, 2-1.
2nd round: Robertson bt Tilyard 8-3, 11-2; Skellern bt Grimshaw 10-7, 5-8, 2-0; Alan Spacey bt Frankie Lim 7-8, 10-5, 2-0; Gerard Hulst bt John Inkster 8-8, 7-6; Steve Hoeft bt Julie Kerry 11-1, 10-9; Gayle Melrose bt Wayne Glogoski 10-5, 8-5; Rob Ashton bt Leeane Poulson 15-1, 6-9, 2-0; Phil Taylor bt Norm Scott-Morrison 7-7, 8-5.
Quarterfinals: Robertson bt Skellern 9-5, 6-8, 2-0; Hulst bt Spacey 10-4, 11-4; Hoeft bt Melrose 9-4, 9-4; Ashton bt Taylor 12-4, 6-9, 2-1.
Semifinals: Robertson bt Hulst 12-6, 11-5; Hoeft bt Ashton 9-3, 7-6.
Final: Bart Robertson (North Harbour) bt Steve Hoeft (Auckland) 13-5, 11-3.

Bart Robertson (North Harbour) travels to Dunedin in September.

For Results from other venues click here

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