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Fagan bounces back for Kumeu win, again

Fagan bounces back for Kumeu win, again

Anyone who thought the all-conquering career of shearing icon David Fagan was coming to an end after missing out on the Golden Shears Open final for a second year in a row last week can think again after he bounced-back to win the Kumeu Summer Shears title yesterday, for the second year in a row.

In what has become an annual post-shears blow-out at the popular Kumeu show off the west harbour and about 25km northeast of central Auckland, Fagan beat Rowland Smith and John Kirkpatrick, who seven days earlier finished first and second in the 54th Golden Shears Open final in Masterton.

Fagan had also beaten the pair last March, a week after missing out on a place in the Golden Shears final also won by Smith, and from which Fagan was absent for only the third time in 30 years.

Yesterday’s win was his sixth of the current Shearing Sports New Zealand season, and the 626th of an Open-class career which dates back to late 1981. It was also his seventh win at Kumeu, past victories including 2002, a week after Kirkpatrick ended his run of 12 consecutive wins at Masterton.

Rare open finalist Peter Chilcott, originally from the Otorohanga area, and Te Kuiti veteran Digger Balme were the first two to finish yesterday’s race as six finalists shore 20 lambs each, a contrast to the ewes of the Golden Shears. Next to finish, Te Kuiti shearer Fagan had the quality to beat the two speedsters on points, as did the Hawke’s Bay guns Smith and Kirkpatrick.

It was the 52-year-old Fagan’s 10th final in a row at Kumeu, while Smith, 27, has been there every year since winning the Senior title at Kumeu in 2006, and won in 2011 and 2012.

But that’s all history as the country’s top shearers tackle a range of events over the next few weeks before the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti on March 29, when the first or second placegetter will join Smith in the New Zealand team for the World Championships in Ireland in May.

ENDS

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