Return of the Mac
Written by Trevor Mills for Gisborne Herald
WORLD Bowls men’s singles champion Shannon McIlroy returned home to skip his team to victory at the inaugural Te Karaka Bowling Club Easter Triples.
The New Zealand international had valuable assistance from brother Adam, who was making a welcome return to the game, and lead Lester Wright, a well-known identity of the host club.
Prior to his departure to Nelson some years ago, Shannon was a member of the Te Karaka club and his return to the district for this tournament was well received by the local bowls fraternity.
Twelve teams entered the tournament, which had a prize pool of $3000. The format was four games a day of two-bowl triples over 15 ends with no time limit.
A number of other strong teams were in the field. One of the most notable were Te Karaka club president David File (skip) alongside Dwayne Cameron, a former national singles winner originally from Gisborne, and Paul Casey Jnr.
Cameron and Casey are members of Waikato’s Hinuera club.
The top section was finalised on Saturday.
It featured David File, Ricky Miller and Bob McIlroy, who all had four wins, Dave Beattie and Lofty Hurrell, who had three wins, and Shannon McIlroy, who scraped in with two wins.
The intensity was upped on Sunday and after the four games were completed, Shannon McIlroy and File were unbeaten.
The honours and $900 for first, however, went to the world champion’s team with a superior differential of +46 to File’s +31.
It would have been an interesting match-up had File and McIlroy’s teams met.
Also in the prize money were Bob McIlroy, July Williams and Cruize McIlroy in third place, and Miller, Mark Walker and Harry Green in fourth.
Four teams were in the prize money in the bottom section won by Steve Goldsbury (skip), Jamey Ferris and Graham Fitzpatrick.
Second were husband and wife Sarah and Ben Brown, and Seddon Jane.
Tolaga Bay’s Chas Henry, Sharon Olsen and Bessie Eyles were third, and Murray Duncan and George and Anita Vaotuua were fourth.
File said the tournament went extremely well. They had held it in March in previous years but this was the first time it was run at Easter, and he expected they would do it again next year.