Goddard takes NZ Singles title

CHAMPION: Goddard has picked up her second career national title. Photo supplied.

Former Howick College student Selina Goddard has won the Women’s Singles title at the National Open Bowls Championships with a 21-9 victory over former Auckland player Reen Stratford.

Goddard, who plays for Carlton-Cornwall in Epsom, collected her second career national title with a win in the women’s singles in New Plymouth on Sunday.

She easily beat Stratford 21-9 to take the NZ National Singles title, automatically gaining entry into the World Singles Champion of Champions.

Goddard represented the Blackjacks at the 2012 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and this latest title could see her back in favour again for the national side.

Her first national win was the National Fours in 2014 with teammates Mandy Boyd, Amy Mcilroy and Gemma Watts.

“It’s such an exciting feeling (winning the singles title) that I don’t think will sink in any time soon, “ Goddard, 22, told the Times.

“To be the NZ National Singles champion and also get a ticket in the World Champion of Champions is a dream.”

The World Singles Champ of Champs is in NSW, Australia from October 30 until November 5.

Goddard only entered in the national singles this year.

She said the final was played in fairly tricky outdoor conditions as most of the tournament was played in quite gusty winds.

“In regards to the score of the final, in my head playing that game it almost didn’t matter if my margin was eight  shots in front or only one shot in front,” she said.

“Reen is a top bowler and, with bowls, you’ve never secured the win until you reach the final number 21.

“I was enjoying the greens in Taranaki and I was feeling good about where I am as a player as I was able to fit in a lot of prep and training over the winter/spring period so to get the result I did, it’s just such a rewarding feeling.”

Goddard is now in her eighth year of playing bowls. For three years she lived on the Gold Coast in Australia and played at the club which is now the host club for the 2018 Commonwealth Games – Broadbeach.

She arrived back in Auckland last December so this was her first playing season back in Auckland since returning to NZ.

The next major event coming up is the New Zealand Open in Auckland from February 14-22 which will see Goddard playing in the triples, pairs and singles with teammates Karen Hema and Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Ashleigh won the pairs title at this year’s nationals).