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Quality and speed land Tapanui win for Roberts

Mataura shearer Brett Roberts took another step forward in his development as a high-ranking Open-class shearer when he won the West Otago A and P Show championship at Tapanui on Saturday.

A 24-year-old in his fifth season in the top class since exiting the lower grades in 2014 with the Golden Shears Junior and Senior titles behind him along with victory in a New Zealand Championships Intermediate final, Roberts had come straight from placing third in the New Zealand Corriedale Championships final in Christchurch the previous day.

In Tapanui he dominated the heats, semi-final and then an all-Southland final of 11 sheep each, to win by just over three points from runner-up Andy Mainland, of Kapuka, east of Invercargill.

Shaun Matheson, of Riverton was third, and Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore, was third, two days after winning the Canterbury Circuit final in Christchurch.

Roberts finished last season as No 9 ranked Open shearer in New Zealand, his nine finals reaping his second Open win, at Cheviot, and second placings at the Ashburton and Reefton shows, and in A-grade competition at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland.

He’s continued the form this season, with fifth placing in the New Zealand Merino final starting the season in Alexandra and second again at Ashburton, the events both being won by New Zealand representative and 2017 World teams champion shearer Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill.

He controlled Saturday’s final shearing the 11 sheep in 12min 0.08sec, beating second-man-off Matheson by 13 seconds, and posting best points in both beard and pens judging.

Lionel Taumata, from Taumarunui and based in Gore, won the Senior final, his fourth win in eight finals this season and the 10th win of his Senior career, also after finishing third at Christchurch the previous day. He won by more than four points from runner-up and Chilean shearer Luis Pincol, who had scored his 14th Senior win at Pleasant Point a fortnight earlier.

Finals newcomer Stacey Whitu, of Roxburgh, became the sixth Intermediate among the seven finals in the grade in the South Island this season, beating runner-up, Gore shearer and Ellesmere show winner Brayden Clifford, who was shearing in his 6th Intermediate final of the season.

RESULTS from the West Otago A and P Show shearing championships at Tapanui on Saturday, November 17, 2018:

Open final (11 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 12min 0.08sec, 41.4584pts, 1; Andy Mainland (Kapuka) 12min 44.47sec, 44.0416pts, 2; Shaun Matheson (Riverton) 12min 13.34sec, 45.3033pts, 3; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 12min 24.38sec, 46.219pts, 4.

Senior final (6 sheep): Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 17min 18.53sec, 28.593pts, 1; Luis Pincol (Chile/Geraldine) 7min 45.09sec, 32.665pts, 2; Ray Te Whata (Mossburn) 8min 41.59sec, 32.746pts, 3; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 8min 24.09sec, 32.2045pts, 4.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Stacey Whitu (Roxburgh) 7min 9.84sec, 33.892pts, 1; Brayden Clifford (Gore) 9min 7.12sec, 35.756pts, 2; Brodie Horrell (Gore) 8min 6.46sec, 36.923pts, 3; Wayne Malcolm (Winton) 9min 17.37sec, 37.4685pts, 4.

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