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May 17, 2004

Deaf bowler stuns the stars

From: The Mercury, South Africa - May 17, 2004

Norma Pickford plays her bowls at Roosevelt Park. She is also totally deaf and yesterday at Westville Country Club she nearly scored a hat-trick of victories - against master bowlers - in the SA Eagle Women's Bowls Championships singles competition.

In her first game she put paid to the chances of former national singles champion Milly Wasserzug, beating her 21-12. Not too soon after that she stopped international, South African fours and Centurion skip Loraine Victor 21-15 and then came very close to ending the hopes of Port Elizabeth fours skip Jenny Giles, losing by 13 shots to 21.

Defending singles champion Lorna Trigwell of Bedfordview CC successfully negotiated her three rounds with wins over Jeanie Cousins, of Durban High School Old Boys (21-17), Sandy le Roux, of Amanzimtoti 21-9 and then Connie Brits (Strathvaal) 21-3.

Trigwell now plays Annette van Niekerk of Orangia in Southern Free State in the semi-final of the section and then could meet Margaret Wilson of Doonside in the final.

Leone du Rand, runner-up to Trigwell in Pretoria last year, first off she took care of Evelyn Forrest, of Gonubie 21-11, then beat Ronelle Kriel, of Harlequin Berea 21-11. In her third match she beat Helen Grundlingh of Lahee Park 21-9 for a place in the final of her section.

Umhlali Country Club's Jill Hackland, Port Natal's only representative in the South African team, won her first three rounds in her section at RDLI, and now meets Sharon Glenn, of Belgravia, in the next round at Westville Country Club today.

Meanwhile, defending champions Centurion are still on track to retain their national bowls fours title although the semi-finals, could be their hardest game yet.

Next Friday, the famous four, Loraine Victor, Jannie de Beer, Joekie Bernard and Naudene Ward, vying for their fourth title in five years, are to meet the Knysna side, skipped by the pretender to the crown of "best woman bowler" in South Africa - 29-year-old Leone du Rand.

Yesterday Centurion had to play their hearts out to beat Mtunzini, skipped by senior international Yvonne Steenkamp, who was assisted by Cheryl Mostert, Anetta Mostert and Jenny Elliott.

On an adjacent green Du Rand, Margaret Banks, Helen Herr and Miems Lingenfelder, making up the side from Southern Cape, finally managed to hold out to beat Hester Bekker, Baby Mellors, Yolande Simmelink and Nici Neal of Florida.

Meanwhile, Knysna had built up a 17-5 lead by the 12th end against Florida and it looked all over. But Hester Bekker is not known for giving up and her Florida side fought back to within four shots. But the effort came too late and not even a two on that last end was not enough.

Port Elizabeth is back on the map withJenny Giles, Ann Birkholtz, Noleen Rubin and Kathy Hess who yesterday put a stop to Wingate Park's Ina Jooste, Esme Kruger, Lorraine Rabman and Teresa Nebel. The score of 25-13 did not reflect the dominance of the Eastern Cape side.

On the end rink national selector, Ellen Cawker, took her Strathvaal side through to the semis by beating Durban High School Boys. Cawker with Connie Brits, Anna Reeder and Sue Gentz dominated their game against Jill Buzzard, June Salmon, Barbara Celine and Mairi Jamieson to win 24-20. - Sapa

©2004 The Mercury. All rights reserved.