Finals on the cards for Grove

Loraine Oliver in action for Ocean Grove. Pictures: JAMIE CULLUM 176914

Several Ocean Grove pennant teams in both Midweek and Saturday competition will stake their claims in coming weeks for a finals opportunity.
With only four matches remaining in the home and away competition in Midweek, five teams remain in contention.
Last year’s state champion side has strung two wins together since the break which has been crucial to the team’s chances of defending its title. Sitting fifth only three points out of the four, next week’s home match against Lara will be an important one.
Division 3 and 8 sit fourth while Division 6 is fflying along in second spot. The Sevens have an opportunity to reach the big stage in coming weeks and are currently fifth and only one game out of the four.
Round 14 of the home and away season could be one of the biggest for the Ocean Grove Premier Division team.
On the road to compete against Victoria and currently second on the ladder it will be crucial to the chances of consolidating a top two position. Following on from a hard fought home win against Eastern Park in round 13 where the rink of Gary Burkett, Faye Richardson, Rod Brehaut and Tony Joel led the way for the home team with a match winning performance outscoring their opposition 38-17 to ensure the 10 match points got added to this season’s total.
Keith George had 500 reasons to smile on Saturday night after receiving the badge for the milestone of that many matches in the Ocean Grove outfit. George and his team mates made sure it was one to remember as their Division 8 side returned to the scales winners by 16 shots against Eastern Park with the rink George was playing second along with Heather Quilty, Robin Brache and David Harvey stealing the show earning the King of the Rinks drinks 38-13.
George, as part of the celebrations for the day, along with Bob Nicol (300) Barry Hair (100) Bob Poole (100) and Tony Joel (100) all received their milestone badge.
The road to the semi-finals are in full flight and the next few weeks will tell a big story of how many Grovers will taste Saturday pennant finals. Seven sides sit in the top four after 13 games with Division 8 an outside chance with five weeks to go. Garry Redford, Jeff Howarth, Terry Thomas and Rick Webb kept the hopes alive for Division 1 to finish top two with dominating performance on the carpet at Lara. 33-13 the final result.
Tom Bramwell, Col Anderson, Peter Patterson and John Izzard were on a mission from end one in their match against Point Lonsdale in Division 3. Never allowing their opposition to get any feel for the green they powered to victory 39-8.
Top side in Division 4 and another strong performance at Portarlington ensured their stand as top of the table side. Ian Turner plus 12 and Lorraine Kirk also plus 12 led the way following on from last week’s rink win of 51-13 to Adele Ryan, Andra Kuschert, Val Cook and Kirk who were clearly in a destroying mood.
Lorraine Oliver, Nancy Quinton, Trevor McPherson and Harold Curwood nailed the ’40 club’ drinks with their 41- 23 win in Division 7 in what would reflect a one-day cricket score with a game of fours and sixes.
Club Champions 2018
Two new club champions have been crowned this year with 15-year-old Kira Bourke showing nerves of steel to come from behind against last year’s champion Faye Richardson. In the closing stages of the match Bourke had to execute some crucial conversions to remain alive in the contest but none more so than on the final end when she was able to remove Richardson’s two shot bowls to take victory 25-24.
Adam Bateup squared off for the championship against Owen Clark. Both players looking for their first title at Ocean Grove, and it was Clark who bounced out of the blocks. Bateup was able to settle into rhythm which led a comeback and eventually take control of the match to run away 25-17 winner.
Both players will now compete in the Champion of Champions event.