Wakefield bowls team wins regional title


The Wakefield Bowling Club’s latest centre title winners have come a long way in the last three years.


Margaret Eames and Rae Peterson didn’t win a game when they played in their first Nelson Centre women’s pairs tournament three years ago. Last year, they managed just one win but this year they went all the way to win the final on March 15 and Wakefield’s first centre title in 14 years.


“We couldn’t believe we were winning,” Margaret says. “It was surreal but we just kept on saying to each other ‘come one we can win this’ and we did.”


But it wasn’t easy with Margaret and Rae just edging past United’s Maureen Gibbons and Di Hancock 12-11 in the quarter final. United was holding two shots when the score was tied at 11-11 on the last end when Margaret calmly stepped up and won the game with her final bowl.


The semifinal was just as close with Margaret and Rae beating the well-performed United pair of Barbara McGregor and Yvonne Closey before defeating Motueka’s Moana Cross and Sheryl Riordan 14-12 in the final.


“All the games were close and could have gone either way,” Rae, who lives in Stoke, says. “We really had to concentrate for two full days – it was mentally and physically exhausting.”


It is easily the biggest win for Rae and Margaret, who have only been playing bowls for  six and seven years respectively and who are still regarded as “babies of the game”.


“I’ve won the club singles and been a member of the winning pairs, triples and fours this year and won Champion of Champion junior singles and pairs but the centre title is easily our biggest win,” Margaret says.


All the centre titles will be presented in an awards ceremony at Saxton Pavilion on May 8.