Five Ocean Grove bowls teams will enjoy a week off pennant after proving successful in first week of the finals series.
Premier Division action took place on the greens at Highton Bowls Club and the two matches came down to the last end. Ocean Grove finished second on the ladder and took on minor premier Bareena. The prize on the line was a direct path to this season’ s decider.
With never any more than 10 shots in the match the Ocean Grove side fought off a fast finishing Bareena team to book that spot winning the match by three shots.
The elimination final was even closer with Queenscliff and Eastern Park level on shots with 100 ends completed. Both team would take to the green for one extra end on each rink. Queenscliff took the honours and will meet Bareena in the preliminary final.
Division Three played out a thriller at Leopold in another qualifying final which also came down to the final bowl.
On a green that looked like it was running magnificently, Ocean Grove skipper Rod Swan delivered the final blow when scores were locked at 92-92 after 99 ends. Swan stood tall, delivered his bowl to rest of the closest bowl to finish only inches from the jack.
Fortunately the Anglesea skipper missed turning the head over and although he made contact and the jack was moved, Ocean Grove still retained the much needed one shot. Swan went on to win the rink 27-11 while Trevor Turnley skipped his four to a 29-18 rink win.
The trip to Bannockburn for Division Seven may have felt long, however the trip back to Ocean Grove would not have felt the same given the side returned with the victory that put it into the grand final.
Keith George, John Aitken, Nancy Quinton and Robin Brache led the way for the Grovers with their team’s 26-19 rink win which was also supported by David Harvey’s 24-18 result.
Albert Touwslager chipped in for a hard fought two-shot win which was enough to offset the narrow deficit from the Lyn Stonehouse team and earn another crack at the season’s biggest prize.
Division Ten was the fourth team that had the chance to advance direct to the grand final and they did that in fine fashion. Both rinks having success on the day with Bob Nicol, Maureen Brooks, John Hoult and Martin VanDoren in cruise control winning 30-13 while Graeme Constable’s team finished one-shot winners 24-23.
Two Ocean Grove teams played off in the elimination final. Division One travelled to Geelong Cement to take on Torquay. Ocean Grove side controlled the day from the outset. Luke Benson guided his foursome of Garry Bowyer, Jeff Howarth, Michael Allen to the biggest win of the day 31-11. Equally impressive was the performance of Jane McMenaman, Garry Redford, Brian Smith and Rod Brehaut who recorded a crucial 11-shot win over the dangerous Alan Sampson from Torquay.
Owen Clark 25-20 ensured the margin was enough to cover the narrow loss to Alan Callow’s team and overall register the win by 28 shots and book a meeting with City of
Geelong this weekend in the preliminary final.
The Division Six side could not advance any further in the finals series, just going down by 10 shots to Torquay at Eastern Park.
In Midweek Pennant the defending State Champions have one more hurdle before they could again have the chance to defend their crown.
The qualifying final win against Torquay last week saw a reversal of form after succumbing to the same opposition the previous week.
Karina van Weel skipped her side to a 13-shot margin which ensured the major scoreboard would be in Ocean Grove’s favour.
Elaine Price was outstanding in her role as lead for van Weel while Faye Richardson took the honours on her rink by four shots 25-21.
Ocean Grove will now meet the winner of City of Geelong vs Torquay.
Four other Midweek teams will this week play off in a preliminary final.
Division Three last week won their elimination final with a dominating performance against Eastern Park. David Rudge, Anne Way, Sandra Murphy and Marianne Rogan in sublime form 35-10. They will meet Anglesea at Torquay.
In a similar position the Sixers also stepped up to keep their season alive with a terrific 24-shot win. Heather Quilty 30-18 and Lorraine Oliver 27-15 guiding the team to the preliminary final against Barwon Heads at Bell Post Hill.
The Division Four side lowered its colours in the qualifying final but will be looking to bounce back this week in the prelim against City of Geelong at Torquay.
Also with the same opportunity to bounce back is Division Seven when they go toe to toe with Geelong RSL at Bell Post Hill.
Division Five could not match it with Portarlington on the day eventually going down in their elimination final.