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Frew lines-up circuit after Rangiora win

Frew lines-up circuit after Rangiora win

Pleasant Point shearer Ant Frew has made an early breakthrough in the new season with a win in Saturday’s Open final at the Northern A and P Show in Rangiora.

Carrying on from some late season form last season, when he reached the Golden Shears Open semi-finals in Masterton for the first times and had his first two wins in the Open class, Frew now looms as favourite to win the Canterbury Circuit with a series-leading 52 points from a maximum-possible 60 after completing the five-show minimum requirement.

Of the 10 shows in the circuit, only Ashburton remains before the final at the Canterbury Show in Christchurch on November 16-17.

Frew, who had his first two Open wins at Methven and Sefton late last season and just missed a place in the NZ Spring Shears Open final in Waimate on October 14, was top qualifier from the 10 in Saturday’s heats, securing the maximum 12 circuit points as he had in the heats at both Mayfield and Sefton in March.

It came amidst a blanket changing of the guard, with all four 2016 Rangiora Open finalists not making the trip this year.

Delwyn Henricksen, of Waipara, pipped Frew by a second in the race for time honours, shearing the 10 final sheep in 12min 38.22sec, but had to settle for third place.

Paul Hodges, from Geraldine, scored the best board points to claim second place, but Frew, with clearly the best quality in the pens, claimed victory with a comfortable 3.12pts winning margin.

Chilean shearer Luis Pincol successfully defended the Senior title, his eighth win in just over two seasons in Senior class. With all-but one being in C grade shows, he has nine grading points, still well short of the competition scale 21pts threshold for upgrading to Open.

Ranfurly shearer Vahni Stringer, winner of the NZ Merino Championships Senior final in Alexandra when the season opened a fortnight ago, went close to a second victory, being first to finish but ultimately being beaten by 0.29pts.

Marlborough shearer Duncan Higgins won the Intermediate final, his second in the grade after winning the Top of the South Intermediate title last season. Significantly, he beat 2016-2017 No 1-ranked Junior Liam Norrie, of Cheviot, who had opened his Intermediate career with a win at Waimate a week earlier.
Darcy Tong, from Taihape, followed a second place at Waimate to score his first win in the Junior final.
The blades final was won by North Canterbury blade shearer Allen Gemmell, who represented New Zealand at the 2010 World Championships in Wales. His last win had been at Rangiora two years ago.
The show attracted 32 entries across the five classes, including Isaac Duckmanton, of Christchurch, who shore in both the blades and senior machine shearing finals.
The shearing sports season continues on Saturday with shearing and woolhandling at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville, near Carterton, and machine and blades shearing at the Ashburton A and P Show in Mid-Canterbury.
Results from the Northern A and P Show Shears at Rangiora on Saturday, October 21, 2017:
Open final (10 sheep): Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 12min 39.28sec, 45.96pts, 1; Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 13min 21.63sec, 49.08pts, 2; Delwyn Henriksen (Waipara) 12min 38.22sec, 49.51pts, 3; Mark Herlihy (Rangiora) 13min 9.06sec, 51.45pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Luis Pincol (Chile) 11min 56.5sec, 47.95pts, 1; Vahni Stringer (Ranfurly) 11min 32.35sec, 48.24pts, 2; Isaac Duckmanton (Christchurch) 12min 14.28sec, 53.21pts, 3; Sarah Higgins (Havelock) 13min 44.15sec, 53.46pts, 4.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Duncan Higgins (Havelock) 8min 19.75sec, 42.74pts, 1; Marohi Kennedy (Kaikoura) 9min 7.34sec, 43.37pts, 2; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 9min 54.72sec, 47.79pts, 3; Jordan Grant (Amberley) 7min 22,37sec, 50.62pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Darcy Tong 11min 20.31sec, 46.68pts, 1; Brayden Clifford (Gore) 11min 11.62sec, 47.25pts, 2; Henry Mayo (Dorset, England) 12min 14.22sec, 52.38pts, 3; Fred Highton (East Midlands, England) 13min 1.13sec, 69.72pts, 4.
Blades final (4 sheep): Allen Gemmell (Rangiora) 13min 58.31sec, 55.42pts, 1; Mike McConnell (Timaru) 14min 46.62sec, 57.58pts, 2; Noel Handley (Rangiora) 14min 37.25sec, 61.86pts, 3; Isaac Duckmanton (Christchurch) 13min 41.69sec, 74.58pts, 4.

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