Club Grove gears up for bowls finals

Winners are grinners: From left, Lance Kelly, Cal Inderberg, Peter Molloy (RT Edgar's), Brendan Umbers and Jim Fitzpatrick take out the 2016 RT Edgar Men's Classic Fours event.

Compiled by Matt Flapper

Pennant finals approaching
WITH the finals just around the corner for both midweek and Saturday pennant competitions, the next two weeks will determine the fate for all sides concerned.
In the Saturday competition, all eight teams are still a chance to feature in the top four.
Premier Division and defending champions have worked their way back into contention with a run of great form thus far in 2016. Currently in fourth position they face off with Lara and City Of Geelong to finish the home-and-away season.
Division Two is the only team that heads its leader board in the Division while the 5s, 7s, 9s and 10s are all third after 16 rounds. Division Three sit fourth which is a fantastic effort so far considering it earned promotion from Division Four last year. Sitting seventh but only one game out of fourth place the Division Eight team will need to secure the points in the remaining two matches to have any chance of securing that fourth spot.
With four opportunities to play finals in the midweek competition, defending premier Division One is on track to feature prominently at the business end, as is Division Two having enjoyed a great start to the year. Four wins on the trot and momentum building, the Twos have worked their way into fourth spot.
Division Three continues to dominate its division – currently on top – while some terrific performances from some of our newer bowlers and inexperienced skippers in Division Seven have them a big chance sitting fourth.
The final two weeks of the season will tell the story, but to have 12 teams with an opportunity to reach the play-off stages is a remarkable effort to date.

Classic stars from City of Geelong
WITH the final result of the 2016 R.T. Edgar Men’s Classic Fours in the balance until the final bowl of the tournament it was the City of Geelong foursome skipped by Brendan Umbers that would rise to the top of the leaderboard and take out the major slice of the $18,000 prize purse.
Umbers joined forces with Jim Fitzpatrick, Lance Kelly and Cal Inderberg who all make part of the club’s Premier Division side.
At the completion of day one, Umbers led the field of three three-game winners with only shots up separating the teams. With a further three games on day two, the city side dropped their guard to the Northern Territory’s Scott Chamberlain. This opened the door for MCC’s Dan Mars to capitalise and hold the overnight lead as the only undefeated side on six wins.
As the third day got underway in near perfect conditions, for the third successive day there was no shortage of surprises. Umbers returned to the winners list, while a slip-up on the carpet cost Mars top spot on the leaderboard. Kyneton Golf’s Mark Cheep was in the mix with another win while Tasmania’s Lee Schraner was waiting in the wings trying hard to keep his chances of tournament victory alive.
City Memorial Warrnambool’s David Wells was guiding his team to its sixth win and remained in contention with one round to play.
With only shots up the difference, Wells went head to head in game eight with Umbers and the winner would be in the box seat to take out first prize.
The City of Geelong side carried the same consistency into the last game as they had in most other matches and produced a result that would sent them to the top and in a position that they had their hold on the trophy. Mars got over the line to record his seventh win and take out the runner-up cheque. Former Australian representative Lee Schraner grabbed third place while Cheep had to settle for fourth on six wins.
The 2016 classic was arguably one of the best assembled fields put together with a quality field which included some spectacular bowling and close contests. Once again the Ocean Grove Bowling Club excelled in hosting the most prestigious men’s fours classics on the bowls calendar.

Final Leader Board
Jim Fitzpatrick, Lance Kelly, Cal Inderberg, Brendan Umbers (City Of Geelong) – 7 wins, 21pts + 82.
Randal Dimery, Dan Mars, Scott Mejean, Ben Winther (MCC) – 7 wins, 21pts + 54.
Taylen Male, Rick Omerod, Jay Bye Norris, Lee Schraner (Tasmania) – 6 wins, 18pts +23.
Mark Cheep, Jack Noonan, Mark Andrews, Richard Dwyer (Kyneton Golf) – 6 wins, 18pts + 18.