Kiwis in charge at Corwen

New Zealand shearers John Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith have had a dramatic and triumphant end to their CP Wool UK tour by winning the final test against Wales and finishing first and second in a hectic-paced Corwen Shears Open final.

The test match result on Saturday (UK time) was an important victory, preventing a home-team cleansweep after rivals Ian Jones and Gwion Lloyd Evans had just three days earlier at the Royal Welsh Show secured Wales an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, and been named as the Welsh machine shearers for the World Championships in Invercargill, NZ, on February 9-11 next year.

Kirkpatrick and Smith represented New Zealand at the 2014 championships in Ireland and currently lead a national selection series which ends in November.

Saturday’s events were each shorn over 20 lambs per shearer as the two-day shears came to an end in the small Welsh town of Corwen, Denbighshire.

Evans was the fastest in both events, shearing 12min 7sec in the test and 11min 54sec as just 15 seconds separated the first five of the six shearers in the Corwen Shears Open final.

But in both events it was the quality of the New Zealanders’ shearing which prevailed, dominated by superior points in the pen judging that carried the day.

They won the test by a comfortable 8.35pts, giving then an overall tour record of 3-2 in test matches. They had beaten Scotland and England in the first two matches on the three-week tour.

Kirkpatrick’s Open final win was his third individual win of the tour. With Smith having won two Open finals, the Kiwis won the championship titles at all-but one of the shows on tour.

After Saturday’s win, Smith headed for Launceston in Cornwall where brother Matthew Smith will on Tuesday attempt the World nine-hours solo strongwool ewes record of 721, set by Southern Hawke’s Bay shearer Rodney Sutton in early 2007.

It will be the first World shearing record attempt in the Northern Hemisphere.

Results from the Corwen Shears on Saturday:

CP Wool International (20 lambs): New Zealand 95.1pts (Rowland Smith 12min 34sec, 47pts; John Kirkpatrick 12min 22sec, 47.6pts,) beat Wales 103.45pts (Gwion Lloyd Evans 12min 7sec, 51.7pts; Ian Jones 13min 25sec, 51.75pts) by 8.35pts. Wales won the series 2-1.

Corwen Shears Open final (20 lambs): John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) 12min, 46.55pts, 1; Rowland Smith (New Zealand) 12min 9sec, 47.05pts, 2; Gareth Daniel (Wales) 12min 2sec, 47.1pts, 3; Gwion Lloyd Evans (Wales) 11min 54sec, 48.9pts, 4; Ian Jones (Wales) 12min 36sec, 50pts, 5; Matthew Evans (Wales) 11min 55sec, 51pts, 6.

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July 25, 2016