NZ triples title goes to Gore bowls team

Top three. . . Gore Bowling Club members (from left) Elliot Mason, Thomas Cockerill, Sheldon Bagrie-Howley are the Bowls New Zealand champion of champion triples winners. PHOTO: BOWLS NEW ZEALAND

The Gore Bowling Club champion of champion triples team survived an early scare in a cliff-hanger semifinal to go on to win the Bowls New Zealand champion of champion triples title at the Dunedin Bowls stadium on Sunday.

The Gore combination, skipped by national singles champion Sheldon Bagrie-Howley with second Thomas Cockerill and lead Elliot Mason, triumphed after clawing their way to a 16-14 victory over the Mount Maunganui team of Nicholas Tomsett, Paul Anderson, Nathan Arlidge, earning a date in the final with the in-form Browns Bay three of Neil Fisher, John Walker and Colin Rogan.

Gore were down 13-5 with just six of the 15-ends encounter remaining,

‘‘We had a real scrap on our hands but Elliot [Mason] put on an absolute master class to get us across the line,’’ Bagrie-Howley said of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the semifinal.

The scare was all it took to spur the Gore triple combination into action and it was Fisher’s Browns Bay team that paid the price.

Bagrie-Howley, Cockerill and Mason were ruthless in piling on the points against the Browns Bay team that conceded at the conclusion of the 11th end with Gore holding an unassailable 20-2 lead.

Earlier Fisher’s Browns Bay team had denied an allsouthern final when eliminating the St Kilda Bowling Club team of Murray Wilson, Reuben Silva and Owen Bennett at the quarterfinal stage, 17-10, before eliminating Cobden Bowling Club 17-5 at the semifinal stage.

But in Sunday’s final they had no answer to the drawing power of the Gore combination.

‘‘Everything clicked right from the first end,’’ Bagrie-Howley said of their final.

‘‘In triples if everything is going good, it makes it really easy.’’

Bagrie-Howley will now prepare for a Bowls New Zealand camp for the world championship squad, to be held in Wellington this weekend.