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Central Districts News with George McLachlan


Twenty years ago, Hawera club stalwarts Alan and Kevin Upson donated an impressive trophy to be presented to the highest net score pair after the three picnic tournaments played at New Plymouth, Wanganui and Hawera.  All three tournaments are scored on handicap. Winners of the competition for 2021 were Jack James (Palmerston North) and Steve Baron (Wanganui). 

Covid-19 restrictions torpedoed the ambitious programme planned for the very popular Taranaki Congress in early March. Good initiative was shown by both the New Plymouth and Hastings clubs who each decided to put on a pop-up Swiss Pairs tournament on the same day - March 7th. Each was strongly supported. At New Plymouth 38 pairs turned out and 40 pairs entered at Hastings. 


If you win all of your matches you usually win the competition and this was the case at both tournaments. Colin Carryer/Derek Evennett had no problem in winning at New Plymouth while Jack James/George Masters won at Hastings by a slightly larger margin. 


Upson Cup overall winners                    " Pop up" winners at New Plymouth    and     Hastings

 Jack James and Steve Baron 2021.jpg      Colin Carryer and Derek Evennett 2021.jpg     Jack James and George Masters 2021.jpg
Jack James and Sreve Baron                       Colin Carryer and Derek Evennett                Jack James and George Masters

On 24th January The New Plymouth Picnic tournament kicked off the first of the three handicap competitions for the Upson Cup. 


Jill Burroughs/Mara Robinson (Hawera) had a very narrow win over New Plymouth pair Marian Biggs/Anna Bolger who were well clear of Hawera pair Martin Berry/Amanda Bublitz.  42 pairs entered. 


One week later the Wanganui Picnic Tournament attracted a field of 51 pairs. Grand Masters don’t often win handicap competitions but here they finished 1st and 2nd.  Congratulations to Jan Whyte/Ken Bateman on a comfortable win over Pat Oyston/Val Gardiner with Gillian Gonthier/Lynette O’Shaughnessy a close 3rd. 

 Winners at New Plymouth                          Hawera                                                     Wanganui

 Mara Robinson and Jill Burroughs 2021.jpg   Doreen Sullivan and Linda Gerrans 2021.jpg    Ken Bateman and Jan Whyte 2021.jpg
Mara Robinson and Jill Burroughs             sisters, Doreen Sullivan and Linda Gerrans  Ken Bateman and Jan Whyte
(with the event sponsor in pink...from
 the local branch of "Driving Miss Daisy"

The Hawera Picnic Tournament attracted 20 tables and the first four placings went to Hawera pairs. Winners were the sisters Doreen Sullivan and Linda Gerrand from husband and wife Julie and Nigel Ewington. Sharon Mosley/Sarah Green finished 3rd with Mara Robinson/Patricia Armstrong a close 4th. 


The Wellington pair of Sandy McKirdy and Graham Stronach make frequent forays into the Central Districts tournaments and they were rewarded with a narrow win over Lorraine Stachurski and Steve Baron in the Feilding Open held on February 21st.  Evelyn and Bob Hurley were right there in 3rd place ahead of the Feilding pair of Dale Marie Bain and Janice Coleman. A packed field of 30 pairs entered. 
                                       Tops at Feilding 

 Sandy McKirdy and Graham Stronach 2021.jpg    Lorraine Stachurski and Steve Baron 2021.jpg
1st place Sandy McKirdy and Graham Stronach  2nd: Lorraine Stachurski and Steve Baron


Alan Doddridge is a previous correspondent for Central Districts round-ups (having handed over to me). It was nice to see him make a victory speech when he was back in the limelight at Marton on March 14th and acknowledged the brilliance of his partner, Alister Stuck. (Nice speech, Alan).  2nd were Lorraine Stachurski and Anne Gordon (with a 70% second session) with Wanganui’s Ann Buckley/Denis Price a close 3rd. Hawera’s Mara Robinson and Jill Burroughs continued their good form in the picnic sessions and finished in 4th placing. They won the prize for the first of the mixed grade pairs. The top Junior pair were the cousins Malcolm and Simon Loudon, which was fitting because Simon is the current President of the Marton club.  The Marton club can squeeze in only 16 tables and this year, as always, it was a full house once again. 

       Top finishers at Marton 

Alan Doddridge and Alister Stuck 2021.jpg   Malcolm and Simon Loudon 2021.jpg   Anne Gordon and Lorraine Stachurski 2021.jpg

 1st Alan Doddridge and Alister Stuck  Top Junior Pair, cousins Malcolm and Simon Loudon  2nd overall Anne Gordon and Lorraine Stachurski
  (also featured is Linda Harris representing Property Brokers, the event sponsor)


Last Saturday, March 20th, the Lawson Jugs Pairs was played at the Havelock North club. 11 tables were in play. Competition was tough! The first 4 pairs all averaged 58 point something. All could feel very pleased with their effort. Trish Patterson/Julie Hassett had a fraction to spare over Rob Armstrong/Sue Kay who just headed Dennis Apperley/Graham Potter and Julia Gardiner/Alan Currie who tied for 3rd placing.
                                      One Two Three at Havelock North

Trish Patterson and Julie Haslett 2021.jpeg     Rob Armstrong and Sue Kay 2021.jpeg    Alan Currie Julia Gardiner Dennis Apperley Graham Potter 2021.jpeg
holding the Jugs are Trish     followed by Rob Armstrong and    equal third Allan Currie and Julia Gardiner
Patterson and Julie Haslett     Sue Kay                                       and Dennis Apperley and Graham Potter


Meanwhile, the Taradale Bridge Club are continuing towards getting their own new clubrooms. They have a confirmed site and floor plan in the Southern Park Island area of Napier agreed with both club members and the Napier City Council.  There are a number of streams of work currently in action including: getting full plans drawn up; quotes of the estimate costs from builders and other materials; Resource Consent application; Fundraising; and Geotech reporting (report has very recently been received).  The club has also received support from at least ten other sporting organisations and clubs that have shown their interest in utilising the facilities making this truly a community hub for the future. Great for the city and great for the bridge club too.



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