Grove lose title by two shots

Team talks at the resumption of play. 166539 Pictures: JAMIE CULLUM

Ocean Grove suffered a heartbreaking loss to Queenscliff in the Geelong Bowls Region Pennant grand final.
The Grovers went down by two shots at Belmont in the season decider after entering the match as hot favourites.
Both sides won two rinks each, but it was Queenscliff which defied the odds and emerged triumphant. Queenscliff scored three shots during a tense final end to claim its first Premier premiership in 11 years.
Down for most of the day, Grove launched a stinging fightback, leading by five shots with two ends left to play. With one end left, Grove held a one-shot lead, but Queenscliff rallied and won by two shots.
However, Ocean Grove Midweek Pennant teams have continued to show their dominance in the Geelong Bowls Region by claiming three premierships in Division One, Two and Four.
The Grovers’ top side – and defending champions – at one stage struggling after round 11 of the home and away season, were ninth and in danger of relegation.
Something clicked and from that moment the Grovers made every week count as they went on a rampage of wins not dropping a match for the remainder of the season.
Semi-final victory against Queenscliff followed by a preliminary final win against City of Geelong set up the showdown with top side and minor premier Highton.
On the greens at Belmont, Ocean Grove displayed their ability and strength to overrun the Highton team with convincing wins on all three rinks.
Joan Tennent 32-17 was in fine touch as was Lorraine Kirk’s Grover team 22-14 while Club Champion Faye Richardson showed why she is one of the best players in the Geelong Bowls Region skipping her rink to a 24-16 victory.
The premiership win now brings the Grovers the opportunity to compete for a State Pennant Crown after Bowls Victoria this year reinstated the State Pennant play offs.
This event will be played at Moama in May.
The Grover Twos capped off a magnificent season in what turned out to be a tough encounter with Geelong Cement.
Sixty ends of the scheduled 75 and it was the Grovers in front by two shots. Marianne Rogan along with Muriel Williams, Judith Jenkins and Bob Poole held the sway of the overall board leading their rink by seven after 20 ends.
The closing stages of the final fluctuated on the major board with Cement hitting the front before the Rogan team carded back to back fours which basically sealed the deal for the Grovers.
Rogan 28-17 was the result which was enough to cover the narrow losses to the Val Cook team 18-21 and Marlene Sutton’s 16-20.
The third premiership came the way of the Division Four side that were at one stage throughout the year were in a similar situation to the Division One side. Struggling to get consistency and regular wins, they found form and climbed up the ladder.
Going head to head in the final dance with Geelong Cement, the Grover’s got off to a flyer due to the 15-0 start after five ends on the Joyce Fraser skipped rink.
As things progressed the Fraser team continued to score heavily but at the same stage the Lorraine Vincent led team were finding the going tough as they were behind 4-15.
Val Crumbie with Heather Allan, Marene Turnley and Harold Curwood carded 10 shots in four ends and they were away.
The momentum was with the Grover’s from then and they were never really headed as team Fraser with Bryan Olsen, Lorraine Redford and John Izzard finished strong taking the match 33-16. Crumbie added six in the last three ends to come away 29-16 winners which together was enough to offset the Vincent 22-28 deficit.
Saturday Pennant Division five were not so fortunate in their Saturday Pennant grand final against Eastern Park.
One hundred ends of tough hard fought bowls come down to the final end and final bowl as Ocean Grove’s Ron Todd held the Grovers’ fate in his hands as he delivered the final rock. Three shots down on the master board with one bowl to play, Todd needed to trail the jack two feet for four but just came up short.
Adele Ryan, Judith Jenkins, Lorraine Kirk and Pat Virtue did all they could to push the scores in Grove’s favour with their 31-18 rink win. Narrow losses by 4,5,6 to Todd, Billy Ryan and Jim Rogan was enough to mean bridesmaids for season 2016-17.