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Selwyn Times: November 21, 2017

22 Wednesday

22 Wednesday November 22 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi News Local News Now SELWYN TIMES Fire rages, homes at risk Coster wins national title at Canty Show FORMER national representative shearer and multiple all-breeds champion Tony Coster reckoned he only shore in the New Zealand corriedale championship to get out of doing a job. But trading the job he says he would have otherwise been doing produced unexpected results for the now 50-year-old Rakaia veteran. He beat world champion John Kirkpatrick by more than a minute in a six-man final to win the Canterbury Show feature for a third time. “I’m on the committee, or at least I help run a few things,” he said. “If I hadn’t shorn I would have had a few jobs to do.” It was only his second competition this season, having made an appearance at Ashburton last month only because he was there with wife, Sheryl, who was “doing the points”. He reckons it’s his last dig on the competition board until the Methven show in March, probably only because the wife is again mastering the event’s complex scoring system. Shearing on stand six, which in the show pavilion brings the spectators as close to the stand as they possibly can without having to shear the sheep as well, Coster had it good, he said. “A FLEECED: Rakaia shearer Tony Coster won the New Zealand corriedale championships open title at the Canterbury Show for a third time. PHOTO: DOUG LAING, SSNZ good pen,” he said in a shearer’s assessment of sheep anyone with a swinging arm and a handpiece would like to peel away. Previously winning in 2007 and 2013, Coster shore the dozen coarse wool sheep in 18min 33.63sec, with Kirkpatrick finishing next in 19min 39.27sec. The time-points advantage, along with second-best combined board and pen points, was something no one else was able to overcome. Coster eventually claimed the win by a comfortable margin of almost five points from defending champion Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill. Kirkpatrick had to settle for third, and fourth was Mataura shearer Brett Roberts, who had the best combined points on the board and in the pens. Cutting back on the competitions hasn’t meant cutting back on the shearing for Coster, who also runs a courier van. He said he’d just come off the lambshear, and his fitness was “pretty good”. “It’s that you just don’t really have quite that confidence against the guys that are shearing competitions all the time,” he said, especially with world teams champions, Stratford and Kirkpatrick, having been in action on a weekly basis since the season started at the beginning of last month. Coster’s “retirement” simply means retreating from the same schedule. He didn’t enter the PGG Wrightson Wool National Circuit for first time in more than 20 years, during which he has won the series four times. “I think since even before PGG Wrightson became the sponsors,” he said, reflecting on his years in the series which ends with a final each year at the Golden Shears and which originated with the first presentation of the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown in 1973. Series leader Tory Pyper, of Winton, was unable to be at the Canterbury Show, but had already guaranteed a top-12 place for the March showdown after strong performances in heats at Alexandra (fine wool) and Waimate (strong wool). Top series and also probable finals-qualifying points went to Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore, and Ethan Pankhurst, of Masterton, who were first and second in the heats, which had 24 shearers chasing the Canterbury title. There was a significant upset in the blade shearing final with 2010 New Zealand world championships representative Allen Gemmell, of North Canterbury, ending the run of Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs, who had been unbeaten in the event since coming out of retirement from competition in 2013. Gemmell had won once previously, 17 years ago. South Island-based Chilean world championships representative, Luis Pincol, had his biggest win, after a string of minor-show triumphs. He took out the senior final by more than six points ahead of Taumarunui shearer Lionel Taumata, who was first to finish in a little over 14min for six sheep. –NZ Herald

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