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Bowls wins proving hard for some teams under sunny skies

Tower's Mark Kuklinski plays lead for the unbeaten side on day two of the Taranaki Men's Open Fours bowls tournament.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Tower’s Mark Kuklinski plays lead for the unbeaten side on day two of the Taranaki Men’s Open Fours bowls tournament.

Bowlers continued to enjoy brilliant weather as the second day of the Taranaki Men’s Open Fours rolled on Tuesday.

At lunchtime, Colin Christie’s Fitzroy team was enjoying a superb start and was halfway to qualifying.

They had won three from three, and teams required six wins after the completion of eight rounds on Thursday.

Christie, with his last bowl, had beaten the great Peter Belliss (Aramoho) on Monday afternoon 27-22.

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There was further encouragement for Christie’s side of Gavin Benton, Dean File and Allan White when they notched up their third victory on Tuesday morning at West End.

They accounted for that great entertainer from the far north, Tupu Campbell (Opononi) 29-20.

The undeniable Belliss bounced back in the morning to beat Ravji Sukha (Island Bay) 29-14 to sit on two wins heading into the afternoon round.

Tower's Scott Roberts skipped the unbeaten side on day two of the tournament.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Tower’s Scott Roberts skipped the unbeaten side on day two of the tournament.

Te Puke’s John Gray is still well-known in these parts.

The former owner of Merrilands New World and racing club stalwart is also an accomplished bowler. He won the Open in 2003 and the Dominion Fours in 2021.

But his strong team suffered a second set back on Tuesday morning.

After being soundly beaten 31-13 by the unbeaten Hamish Kape (Paritutu) on Monday, Gray’s side fell 22-20 to Mike Reddy (Far North RSA).

Gray was odds-on to win, leading 20-10 after 20 of the 25 ends.

But it can be a strange game bowls.

Tower's Russell Hardy in action on day two of the Taranaki Men's Open Fours bowls.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Tower’s Russell Hardy in action on day two of the Taranaki Men’s Open Fours bowls.

With counts of 1-3-2-2-4, Reddy’s side, which includes Fitzroy newcomer Grant Crossan, stole the game.

However, on the adjacent rink on the immaculate Inglewood green, 2020 Dominion fours winner Caleb Hope (Stokes Valley) continued to march through.

The first major casualty of the week came on Tuesday morning.

Gerry O’Sullivan’s Inglewood team won’t feature in a post section this year after it succumbed 27-15 to Brian Eccleshall (Hawera Park). O’Sullivan also lost both games on Monday.

But the usual suspects continued to dominate proceedings.

Defending champion Craig De Faria (West End) is the most impressive of them all.

All three of his victories have been decisive. On Tuesday morning, the score was 30-10 over Andy Ellis (Pringle Park), who had won twice on Monday.

The tournament was played under sunny skies on Tuesday.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

The tournament was played under sunny skies on Tuesday.

Teenager Camron Horo (Rahotu) beat Colin Cherri (North End) 26-15.

His side, which includes his father Gavyn, had a win and a loss on Monday.

The loss was 23-21 to four-time champion Dan Delany (Ellerslie), and was only decided with an accurate, last-bowl drive from the Aucklander. Delany remains unbeaten.

Maurice Symes (Fitzroy) was also unbeaten, as was Darren Goodin (Paritutu), Peter Dorreen (Far North RSA), Scott Roberts (Tower), Kevin Smith (Hinuera), Raymond Martin (Victoria) and Garry Muriwai (Martinborough).

One of the more intriguing sections is number seven, which was played on Tuesday at Vogeltown.

None of the teams had managed to win all three games, so they all have plenty of work to do.

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