Wales Go 2-0 up in Shearing Four-Test Series in Wales
Wales go 2-0 up in test series in Wales
New Zealand will have to wait at least another year for a shearing series win over Wales in Wales after losing the first two tests of a four-test series on their CP Wool UK tour.
While Wales has never beaten New Zealand in a shearing test in New Zealand, new World champion John Kirkpatrick and stand-in team member Jack Fagan saw their hopes of the first black-singlets series win in Wales since 2011 disappear when beaten by Welsh World championships representatives Gwion Lloyd Evans and Ian Jones in the second match at the Lampeter Shears.
Following a defeat in the opening match at the Cothi Shears on Friday, the Shearing Sports New Zealand team can now do no better than claim a drawn series, when 2014 World champion Rowland Smith rejoins Kirkpatrick for an all-Hawke’s Bay team assault on the last two tests at the Royal Welsh Show on Wednesday and the Corwen Shears on Saturday.
Evans, from Dinbych, North Wales, and Jones, of Llandrindod, Powys, complemented each other well in the test of 20 sheep each, Evans claiming fastest time and best shearing points on the competition board, and Jones clearly the best pen-judging points. It was the latter that made the difference as Wales won by 1.35 penalty points.
The Welsh won the Cothi test by 1.85pts despite a gallant effort by Te Kuiti shearer Fagan who was the top individual in his first official test, extending the Fagan heritage in New Zealand teams, after uncle John Fagan, cousin James Fagan and father Sir David Fagan.
Kirkpatrick bounced back well from the disappointment of the previous day by successfully defending the Lampeter Shears Open title, beating Fagan by 0.7pts in a New Zealand quinella at the end of a close a six-man final also of 20 sheep each.
Just 24 hours earlier both had missed the Cothi Shears Open final, which provided a first Open title for 2014 Masterton Golden Shears Intermediate champion Alun Lloyd Jones. The Cothi final was the first time there had been no New Zealanders in an all-nations Open final at a New Zealand team UK tour venue in more than nine years.
Cothi Shears, Friday July 21:
CP Wool UK Tour Wales Series first test (20 sheep): Wales 107.85pts (Gwion Lloyd Evans 13min 11sec, 53.75pts; Ian Jones 13min 34sec, 54.1pts) beat New Zealand 109.7pts (Jack Fagan 13min 37sec, 53.4pts; John Kirkpatrick 13min 35sec 56.3pts) by 1.85pts.
Lampeter Shears, Saturday July 22:
CP Wool UK Tour Wales Series second test (20 sheep): Wales 110.95pts (Gwion Lloyd Evans 14min 42sec, 54.4pts; Ian Jones 15min 50sec, 56.25pts) beat New Zealand 112.3pts (John Kirkpatrick 14min 1sec, 56.05pts; Jack Fagan 13min 48sec, 56.25pts). Wales lead the series 2-0 with two tests to go, on Wednesday at the Royal Welsh Show and Saturday at the Corwen Shears.
Lampeter Shears Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) 13min 51sec, 50.15pts, 1; Jack Fagan (New Zealand) 13min 47sec, 50.85pts, 2; Richard Jones (Wales) 13min 53sec, 51.2pts, 3; Gwion Lloyd Evans (Wales) 14min 9sec, 51.45pts, 4; Gareth Daniel (Wales) 14min 28sec, 52.15pts, 5;Alun Lloyd Jones (Wales) 14min 58sec, 55.7pts, 6.