Howell's ton a Central factor
CENTRAL Districts surged to the top of the Shell Cup cricket table when defeating Northern Districts by six wickets in a high scoring game at Whangarei.
The Northerners appeared reasonably secure upon compiling 226 for nine in their 50 overs, with Graham Burnett contributing 101. However, Liorne Howell's 110 not out provided the winning reply's backbone.
Any illusions Canterbury may have harboured that a fourth successive success in the inter-provincial limited overs competition would be an easy matter were shattered as Wellington annihilated them by 110 runs at Ranglora.
New Zealand international aspirant Roger Twose top-scored for the capital city when notching 52 out of 226 for nine.
Auckland had their match with Otago sewn up when reducing the home team to 22 for five and, despite a few late hiccups, prevailed with four wickets to spare.
ENGLISHMAN Tim Harvey won the Nissan Mobil 500 motor race on the Wellington waterfront by finishing second and first in the two-leg event.
For much of the race, Jo Winklehock gave the impression he was a class above his rivals. The German claimed a fifth successive Asia-Pacific Championship Series leg, after doubles at Fuji and Macau, only for his BMW to withdraw with engine trouble when leading the second contest and allow Harvey, also driving a BMW, to win by default.
Winklehock had secured the Asia-Pacific title in Macau.
LOLANI Koko, the 1993 Hong Kong Sevens Player of the Tournament, has defected from rugby union to rugby league despite not having attracted a club in the professional code.
Koko was immediately drafted into the Western Samoan squad preparing for next year's rugby league World Cup by their coach Graham Lowe, who stated that the former Wellington representative would be 'an automatic selection'.
As well as playing on 52 occasions for his country's rugby union side, the 30-year-old can also claim appearances for the Western Samoan soccer team and as a sprinter at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, so may soon find himself included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most versatile international sportsman.
WAIKATO rugby union captain John Mitchell has retired after making 134 appearances for the province over 10 seasons, during which he lifted both the Ranfurly Shield and National Championship trophy.
Mitchell, 30, made his All Black debut on the tour of England and Scotland last year but was not called upon for Test duty.
ANOTHER New Zealand male sporting bastion has crumbled.
Soccer international Zoe Miller will be permitted to play in men's competitions next year, due to the standard of play in the women's leagues not being sufficiently challenging for her.
According to local administrators, FIFA rules permit the 19-year-old, who made her international debut at the India Gold Cup in Madras this year, to play alongside men.
CANTERBURY spin bowler Mark Priest has been added to the New Zealand touring squad in South Africa, as cover for the injured Matthew Hart.
Thirty-three-year-old Priest has not been involved with the Kiwi team since touring England in 1990.
NATIONAL soccer coach Bobby Clark included only locally based players when selecting his squad to face the Danish Olympic selection next month.
The former Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper admitted he was tempted to involve exiles featuring in the Australian and Hong Kong leagues but, instead, will rely solely upon members of the side that recently completed an internal tour with a 100 per cent record.