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Organisers of the national bowling tournament in Central Otago over the past week are thrilled with the support received from clubs and the community, while entry numbers were the highest in a decade.

Although some slight rejigging was required following the Government’s announcement moving the country to Alert Level 2 on Sunday, Covid-19 did not affect the success of the national fours and mixed pairs competitions.

The competitions were run at 11 clubs throughout the region and attracted 800 players, as well as supporters, organisers and volunteers.

It was the first time the national tournaments had been held in the region.

The fours finals were held at the headquarters for both, the Alexandra Bowling Club, on February 28.

BNZ chief executive Mark Cameron said the feedback from players had been glowing.

“It is the best nationals we have had in terms of support from the clubs and the community,” he said.

“They are asking when are we coming back again.”

Usually, the national competitions are played in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

“It was a big call for us but this was the first time the nationals had been played outside those big cities and they did not have the same holiday feel [as Central Otago].

“The clubs made it really special, the greens were superb, and we really enjoyed it.”

Many players and supporters had visited vineyards and restaurants and were staying in hotels.

After the announcement, they limited the number of people at the club to players and organisers for the finals and the mixed pairs competitions, while games were moved from Roxburgh to Cromwell.

“There were about 50 people involved, well within the limits, but we were just being overly cautious.

“We also had to make sure we were diligent in scanning, distancing and hygiene.”

Mandy Boyd, Kirsten Edwards, Leigh Griffin and Angela Boyd won the women’s fours competition on Sunday, beating Sandra Keith, Clare Hendra, Selina Smith and Tayla Bruce.

The men’s fours team of Maurice Symes, John Gray, Steve Beel and Craig MacDonell beat Mike Kernaghan, Kelvin Scott, Shannon McIlroy and Lance Pascoe.

The mixed pairs results were still unknown as we went to print.