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Fagan lines-up another big title

Fagan lines-up another big title

Five-times World shearing champion David Fagan has kept alive his hopes of at least one final bid for the ultimate glory by qualifying again for tonight’s New Zealand Open championship final in home-town Te Kuiti.

At the age of 52 and winner of the NZ Open 16 times, Fagan was one of six to make it through to the final over 20 sheep each, in search of the last of two New Zealand berths in the machine shearing at the World Championships in Ireland in May – 24 years after winning the World title for the first time.

Hot favourite Rowland Smith, 27 and with a World Championships position already in hand after winning his second Golden Shears Open four weeks ago, is top qualifier for tonight’s final, followed in order by Southland hope Nathan Stratford, Fagan, Hawke’s Bay gun Dion King, Manawatu bolter Aaron Haynes, and 2008 and 2012 World teams champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier.

The final will start about 9pm, with the runner-up getting the spare black singlet if Smith completes a Golden Shears and New Zealand Open double.

Earlier in the day, World and Golden Shears World woolhandling champion Joel Henare was knocked-out of the New Zealand championships race when eliminated in his event’s semi finals. Henare and Kimbolton woolhandler Ronnie Goss had previously been selected for the World Championships.

The qualifiers for tonight’s New Zealand championships open woolhandling final are Logan Kanura, of Marton, Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, Tina Rimene, of Masterton, and Anita Phillips, of Taumarunui.


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