The 2022/23 Men’s & Women’s Championships were held at Waimarie Hutt Valley CC from 7-11 December.
The Wednesday and Thursday played host to the Mixed Doubles Championships, with eight pairs entered as the doubles was played for the first time in 3 seasons. Liz McLay (Manawatu-Wanganui) & Harps Tahurangi (Wellington) topped their section with two wins and +23 net hoops, while Kathie Grant (Australia) & Dennis Bulloch (Manawatu-Wangnaui) topped theirs with three wins.
The knock-out was a different story though, as Grant & Bulloch were eliminated in the quarters and McLay & Tahurangi in the semis. The final was a narrow affair, with Alison Robinson (Wellington) and Doug van Belle (Manawatu-Wanganui) edging out Bonnie & Carey Johnstone (South Taranaki) 15-13. This is Robinson’s third Mixed Doubles title and van Belle’s first.
The Men’s Championship was closely fought, but Harps Tahurangi (Wellington) proved to be too good, winning eight matches with +115 net hoops and including two triple peels for his first Men’s title. Defending champion Dennis Bulloch (Manawatu-Wanganui) was 2nd, also with +8 wins and +99 net hoops, while Peter Filbee (South Taranaki) came third with 6 wins.
All eyes were on the Women’s Championship with next year’s World Championship just a month away. All ten competitors will be playing in Canterbury, and were getting valuable competition experience going in. Competition was tight, with six players winning more than half their matches.
Miranda Chapman (Thames Valley) was a cut above the rest though, winning eight matches with +155 net hoops, taking fantastic form to the World Champs where she will be defending her title from 2015. Bonnie Johnstone (South Taranaki) finished second, capping off an impressive weekend with 7 wins and +100 hoops.