A champion effort

WINNERS: Ocean Grove, the Victorian State Pennant Champions. Picture: DAVE MACKAY

Ocean Grove secured its second Victorian State Pennant Championship with a dominating performance at Moama.
Claiming the title for Saturday Pennant in 2013 the Ocean Grove Midweek Pennant team took all before it and finished off a remarkable carnival remaining undefeated after five sectional matches and the final, which was played against Benalla.
Ocean Grove’s former State representative Joan Tennent made an early statement and took it to state selector Jan Hurst, winning comfortably 23-6. The win in round one set up the showdown with the Murray Downs the next morning.
In what turned out to be the closest match of the carnival for the Grovers, nothing more than a handful of shots separated the two teams. Premiership skipper Lorraine Kirk carded the match-winning score 18-15 and said after the game: “we didn’t come this far to not give it everything and my team certainly did that”.
The match against Karingal started closely until the Pat Virtue skipped side carded back to back scores of five which created the margin needed to run out winners 49-38. For Virtue, who had to step up to the skipper’s plate due to the unfortunate withdrawal of premiership skip Faye Richardson, due to personal reasons, it was the ability to take her game to another level. With the support of Carol Howarth, Garry Redford and Matt Flapper, Virtue was asked what the feeling of skipping a team at these championships meant to her.
“It’s all about pride and satisfaction and I am so happy to be a part this successful Ocean Grove side, I’m not sure it gets any better than this,” she said..
Lorraine Myers, Marg Carroll, Michael Allen and Joan Tennent went on a scoring spree in game four. Finishing their 15-end match 35-2, the overall result was never in doubt and Ocean Grove made it four wins from as many matches and was in an unassailable position going into the last match.
Kyneton Golf went into the event as one of the favourites and dropped two matches, but was determined to finish the championships in style.
Joan Tennent’s foursome suffered their first loss in a tight tussle 9-13 while Adele Ryan, Jeff Howarth, Gary Burkett and Kirk got the points 17-8 and Virtue 20-15 for the clean sweep of the section.
One more match to reach the unthinkable of going from relegation danger in your local competition to State Champions. Benalla was the opponent.
The Ocean Grove team was relentless. The Tennent combination bounced back from a round five loss to dominate the contest 31-9 while the Virtue led rink was equally as good with its 17-10 result. With the overall result beyond doubt, the Lorraine Kirk side, playing the final two ends, had staged their comeback and was a chance to clean sweep the rinks. Kirk settled for a 16-16 draw and the celebrations began.
Joyce Fraser, who has just ended her three-year term as the president of Ocean Grove Bowls Club, said: “A wonderful experience for all our bowlers and coming out winners was the icing on the cake”.