The new bowls season commenced in near perfect conditions for round one on Saturday.
Following a strong recruiting off season, many new faces took to the greens in the Ocean Grove outfit for the first time.
Nine teams will compete in the Saturday Pennant competition while eight teams will take to the greens in the Midweek event.
A new look Ocean Grove Premier Division team with an injection of seven new players hosted the dangerous Lara side and in true Ocean Grove vs Lara history it was true to script with not much separating both sides all day.
The Grovers started the day well and got off to a flyer before Lara hit back to take the lead and at the half time break scores were locked at 52 a piece after 54 ends.
It could not be any closer with Tony Joel 12-13, Mick West 13-14, Matt Flapper 13-12 and Leigh Mcilvenny 14-13.
During the half time break Patricia Virtue was presented with a certificate for her milestone of reaching 500 Pennant games in the Ocean Grove colours. A great achievement.
Play resumed and it was the Grovers who started to stamp their authority on the match as they slowly started to take control of the match.
Kira Bourke, Nicole Shortis, Brad Pavey and Tony Joel scored 14 shots over the closing stages to give the advantage to the Grover’s while Craig Rippon, Cal Hanna, Chris Price and Matt Flapper stepped it up in the second half of their match to get over the line by 12. A strong finish to a tough first up match finishing 107-86 winners and looking forward to a road trip to Ballarat to take on Victoria for possibly the last time in this competition.
Adjacent to the Premier Division side playing at home the Grover’s Division Three side playing Highton were slow to get going but when they did were able to go on a scoring spree.
Ron Todd, Shane Thorley, Norm Thomas and Andy Wright never let their opposition into the contest going on to record the best win of the day 40-13. Warren Davis led his rink to a 32-17 victory whilst Trevor Turnley and Rod Swan were able to make sure the Grove side got off to a flyer registering all 18 points on offer.
Maree Hughes, Terry Tinker, Frank Wheat and David Harvey enjoyed their day out on the greens at Geelong in Division Seven taking control of the match winning 33-16 which consolidated the major scoreboard in Ocean Grove’s favour to record the overall 98-81.
Sandra O’Keefe and Lance Lange both skipped their rink to wins to get the points in Division 11 playing at home against Belmont.
The current Victorian State Midweek Pennant Champions took to the greens for the first time since capturing their back to back title in round one of the Midweek competition against Leopold at home.
The strong Ocean Grove side were too powerful winning on the three rinks and finishing ahead 98-49 on the overall scoreboard.
Three matches on the day came down to a handful of shots when Ocean Grove’s second Division One side travelled to St Leonards to meet with last year’s Division Two Champions. Only three shots separated the two teams which saw the Grovers ahead at the 75th end 76-73.
The nail biter finish of the day was at home when the Division Three side up against Anglesea could only be separated by a single shot. Bryan Olsen, Judith Jenkins, Faye Bowyer and skipper Terri Rudge made sure the win was staying at home leading the overall with their rink win 24-15.
Lorraine Oliver (plus 3) and Marlene Ross (plus 1) both skipped their rinks to a win which was enough to get the result against Queenscliff in Division 7 in the third match that resulted in a close finish.
Division 5 returned from Leopold with a clean sweep of match points with Lyn Stonehouse skipping her rink to a 10-shot margin while Marene Turnley registered a plus 11 result with Kerri Simpson getting the points by three.Meanwhile Ocean Grove has dominated the Over 60 Geelong Bowls Region Singles competition taking both crowns in the Men’s and Ladies events.
An all-Grover contest in the Ladies event saw Faye Richardson and Lorraine Kirk go head to head in what was described as a classic battle. Shot for shot and any ones match it was a nail biter to the finish with Richardson in front 21-20 at the conclusion.
Michael Dennis has made his mark as an Ocean Grove player after joining our club this season capturing the crown in a more dominating performance winning against Clifton Springs John Burt 21-7.
Both Michael and Faye will now compete for state titles on Wednesday 12 December.