Grovers head to finals


OCEAN Grove will be on show in April during the State Championship week with another two titles locked in the cupboard which brings two more opportunities to capture a state title.
An all-Ocean Grove semi-final in both Men’s and Women’s Geelong Region Fours Championships ensured there would be a representative in the final of both events.
Marlene Sutton along with Lorraine Oliver, Lorraine Hunt and Pauline Almond, battled it out with Adele Ryan, Marg Carroll, Lorraine Kirk and Val Cook to record their one shot win on an extra end after the two teams could not be split after the regulation 18 ends, and now earn a hit out with Highton’s Anne Cotterill in the final.
The Highton four started with a bang and controlled the game in the early stages and jumped to a 15-3 lead. Generally that would be a difficult task to come back from but Sutton’s team end by end and shot by shot fought their way back into the contest to unbelievably draw level at 16-16 with two ends to play.
Oliver, Hunt, Almond and Sutton had the momentum when it mattered most and were able to capture a magnificent comeback to take the final two ends and become region champions.
On the adjacent rink at Queenscliff in the Men’s event, Chris Price, Cal Hanna, Craig Hodges and Matt Flapper secured the championship against the Leopold team skipped by Ben Russell.
Team Flapper earned their spot in the final with a win against club mates Peter Lewis, Owen Clark, Adam Bateup and Mick West in the semi-final.
The Grover’s foursome started the final playing with power and precision before the Leopold team with grandson Brad, son Craig and grandfather Col Pavey, along with Russell, made their move on the scoreboard to get back within two shots 13-15.
That was the spark the Grove team needed which set their wheels in motion to finish the game off and control the remaining ends to run out winners 22-13.
Tennent almost
Joan Tennent walked away with a silver medal for the second year running in the Victorian Over 60s Ladies Singles Championship.
Having the privilege of competing for a state title on your home greens does not happen to often and for Tennent playing at Ocean Grove in front of a home crowd the stage was set.
In the round of 16 match against Wodonga’s Marg Bedford Tennent was clinical to win 21-5 and then survived a close encounter coming back from 6-16 down to beat Glen Waverley’s Pat Joint 21-19.
Day two and a semi-final against Moama’s Marilyn Stephenson was the reverse from the quarter final. Tennent led 16-6 and looked in full control before Stephenson showed her class to stage a comeback to actually take the lead 20-19. Luckily for the Grover the comeback was short lived as the local star took two shots to claim her spot in the state final winning 21-20.
The fairy tale finish scripted unfortunately did not go to plan as Portland’s Joy McGrath had other ideas and played a terrific game of singles to record a 21-8 win and walk away from sunny Ocean Grove as State Champion.
Grover’s topple last year’s premiers
Ocean Grove’s premier division have returned to the winners list with a convincing win against last season’s premiers Victoria.
The road trip to Ballarat proved a success and a determined side hungry to bounce back from the defeat to Bareena the week before controlled the match from the outset to come away winners with three rink wins.
Peter Lewis, playing his first match at Premier Division level for Ocean Grove settled in well to lead for Matt Flapper and they, along with Shaun Myers and Ken Thomas, led the way for the Grover’s with a commanding 35-16 rink win.
Craig Hodges 27-20 and Mick West 28-25 both fought hard to get the points which ensured the majority were coming back to Geelong. After six rounds the Grover’s sit in second spot on the ladder.
A day on the green took a new meaning for Grove’s Andrew Johnston, Judith Jenkins, Ian Turner and Jim Rogan as they barnstormed their way to a thumping 42-5 rink win. Scoring 40 in a pennant game is a feat rarely achieved but holding your opposition to five over 25 ends is an incredible effort. Bill Ryan’s team 32-16 also claimed a significant rink win and contributed to Division 5’s 14 points and 117-69 win.
Just as important for the overall margin of the side in Division 6 John Forde, Ross McDonald, Phil Lock and John Aitken were just as impressive in their match against Inverleigh. Aitken’s side went on a scoring spree to card a 41-14 rink win which ensured they kept the 10 match points and in doing so keep their final four hopes alive now three wins from six matches.
Peter Crammond returned from a week on the greens in Barham and led the Division 9 team along with Harold Curwood to both get their rink wins 24-19 and 25-23 which was enough to currently sit top two on the ladder. Their 49-42 win in the away match against Belmont their third for the season.
Joy and Denis Pugh returned to the greens and had an immediate impact as they along with Gary Franklin and Rocket Rodoni cruised to 28-10 on the scoreboard while Peter Townsend kept his good form going with a 26-20 win which now give the tens a sniff of the top four.
In-form Marlene Sutton, with leader JJ Jenkins, Bob Poole and Jimmy Rogan, continue their run of form as Midweek Division Two flew the flag for the Grover’s in Round 7. Sutton 33-12 and Val Cook 30-12 easily offset the narrow two shot loss to Barb Gilbert’s four.