Team Henselite’s Sheldon Bagrie-Howley has won the Men’s NZ National Singles title after defeating two-time winner, Shannon McIlroy, 21-18 in a thrilling all-Henselite final in Auckland.
The 27-year-old Gore bowler, became the first Southlander to win the Men’s NZ National Singles since it was first contested in 1915.
Shannon McIlroy was out of the blocks early in devastating touch on the Browns Bay green, running out to an 11-5 lead. But Sheldon methodically pegged back the lead to take the score to 18-15.
He finished off the game with a three-count on what proved to be the final end, taking him to his second national title.
“That first title was very special as it was my first one, but this one means a lot, being singles, so achieving it on my own.” he said.
The road to the final was not straight forward for Sheldon, he had a one shot win in the semi-final over Peter Sain. “Definitely the toughest opponents were Shannon and Peter. I really had to dig deep to get past them.”
Sheldon used his Dreamline XGs to good effect in the changeable conditions throughout the event. “They were amazing in all the conditions, especially on the carpet when it go transferred to carpet due to the weather,” he said.
“Next for me is waiting to see if I have been selected to play in the multinational in March for New Zealand.” Being on the edge of NZ selection for a number of years, Sheldon has certainly found a great way to make his case for national representation.