The first tournament of the 2023/24 CNZ season was held in Hamilton over the weekend of 14 & 15 October. 16 entrants took part and were divided into two blocks.
Saturday witnessed the masterful return of the reigning champion, Dallas Cooke (Bay of Plenty), as she dominated Block A with an impeccable record of 7 wins out of 7. Jean Kent (Northland) surged forward with five victories, securing her coveted place in the championship knockouts. Joining her in this elite circle were Gaylene Jones (Canterbury) and Vanessa Hanna (Waikato-King Country), both boasting four wins. Christine Newton (Waikato-King Country), despite her a great effort and four wins, found herself a mere two net hoops shy of advancing.
Block B brought a competition that was nothing short of thrilling, with Marion Taylor (Auckland) topping the block with a resounding five wins. Pat Anderton (Thames Valley), Melba Scott (Auckland), and Theresa Jessop (Bay of Plenty) all advanced with four wins of their own. Leila Martin (South Taranaki), though securing four wins, found herself outside the knockout places with a net hoop differential of -1.
Sunday marked the grand climax with the Plate and Championship knockouts, featuring best-of-three matches. The tenacious fifth-placed Block competitors, Christine Newton and Leila Martin, maintained their fiery form from Saturday, culminating in a thrilling final showdown. Christine Newton emerged victorious with a 7-3, 7-5 triumph. Meanwhile, Mattie Clarkson (Auckland) won the 5-8 Plate playoff with three hard-fought wins.
In the Championship, the quarter-finals pushed the limits of competition, as Pat Anderton, Jean Kent, and Vanessa Hanna were all pushed to a dramatic third game to secure their coveted spots in the semis. Dallas Cooke, who had dominated the tournament until that point, faced her first formidable challenge in the semi-final. Pat Anderton fought valiantly, securing the second game 7-6. However, Dallas secured her spot in the final, bouncing back to win the 3rd game 7-2 In the other semi-final, Jean Kent showed great form with a 7-4, 7-3 win.
Gaylene Jones won the Championship 5-8 playoff with three wins. Vanessa Hanna clinched the Championship Bowl with a strong 7-6, 7-2 victory against Pat Anderton. In the Championship final, Dallas Cooke stood her ground, defending her title with a masterful performance that culminated in a commanding 7-1, 7-3 victory. It marked her third Women’s GC title and a fifth CNZ trophy.