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Dobbs secures World champs berth

Dobbs secures World champs berth

Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs has guaranteed himself another World blade shearing title bid with an unbeaten run in a selection series which ends at the Canterbury Show this week.

But while he and one other will make an all-South Canterbury blade shearing pair in the event at the Worldf Championships in Invercargill on February 8-11, the decision on his teammate will go right to the wire in the New Zealand Corriedale Shearing Champions in Christchurch on Friday.

With 2014 teammate Brian Thomson, of Christchurch, deciding not to make himself available, the remaining position has come down to a two-man race between Phil Oldfield, of Geraldine, and Tim Hogg, of Timaru.

Dobbs has an unassailable lead, having won all seven events in the series to date, part of a sequence of 25 individual and New Zealand team wins since finishing third at the 2014 World Championships in Ireland. He was last beaten in New Zealand at Reefton, in February 2013.

But, based on each discarding their worst result in the series, Oldfield and Hogg go into the Canterbury Show tied.

There’s no letting-up for 54-year-old Dobbs, who won the inaugural World blades title at the Golden Shears in Masterton in 1988, and came out of retirement in 2013 determined to do it again, against the African opposition which had dominated ever since.

He’s hard on the case of South African Mayenzeke Shweni, who in Invercargill will be defending the title he won in Ireland. Having beaten Shweni and four-times World champion Ziewilelle in a tri-Nations event in Australia in November 2014 is determined to be ready to claim the ultimate goal.

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While he says he relieved some of the pressure by securing his position with a win Ashburton on October 29, when he beat runner-up Hogg by more than two minutes and an ultimate big margin of over 11pts, he’s determined to complete a series cleansweep in Christchurch, and win the Canterbury Show title for a fourth year in a row.

He’s just as determined to show his prospective teammate what’s needed to win the World title, with 2014 teammate Brian Thomson, of Christchurch, having resisted Dobbs’ urgings to have one more go.

“It’s another step up,” said Dobbs, who with Thomson was runner-up in the teams even in Ireland.

Oldfield has won events overseas, while Hogg represented New Zealand against Australia several years ago.

ENDS


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