Centrals close gap in race to avoid bowls relegation

WHEN it comes to Ballarat Geelong premier division bowls, Central Wendouree is not done yet.

The Bears revitalised their season and their hopes of staying in lawn bowls’ top grade with a 109-81 victory over reigning premier Geelong West on Saturday. In the process they earned 17 points and closed the gap to Avenue in the race to avoid relegation to 17 points. 

Electing to play on carpet rather than grass, Centrals ambushed the visitors to be up by about nine shots at the tea break. The Bears then doubled that margin in the second half of the day’s play, winning three rinks and tying the other.

“We restructured the side and that worked out well for us. It evened us up over our rinks instead of having one or two a fair way up and the others down,” Central Wendouree skipper John Nunn said.

“We were pretty determined. We’ve had some good performances without getting wins.” 

Nunn’s team scored an eight against John O’Donnell and co, on the way to a 29-26 victory.

Bill Durand, skippering for the first time, guided his four to a 32-15 victory over Craig Elliot, while Eric Kosloff’s four had the better of Stewart Shuttleworth 26-18. 

Greg Brown’s team, often the flagship for Centrals, tied 22-22 with Brendan Umbers’.

Victoria retained top spot, thrashing synthetic specialist Bareena 105-65 on grass at Victoria. Shaun Clark’s four won 38-12, Jarrod Burt’s won 23-16 and Wes Lennecke’s team finished 26-12 up for the Vics. Bareena’s two points came through Ryan Tainton’s four, which had the better of Barry Clark’s 25-18.

Ocean Grove kept the pressure on the Vics with a hard fought 92-88 battle with fellow contender Sebastopol.

Grovers’ skippers Matt Flapper (26-25 against Ian Warner), Paul Cameron (22-20 against Brad Oates) and Craig Hodges (25-14 against Andrew Myers) scored for the home side, while Simon Cornock’s four scored two points for the Kookaburras, 29-19 against Ken Thomas.

Webbcona strengthened its hold on a top four place with a 96-81 away win against Avenue.

Brett Mahoney’s team defeated Glenn Arthur’s 22-16 and Ash McArthur’s team defeated Darren Fletcher’s 29-15. Glenn Sargent’s four earned two points with victory over Tony Wood 26-21, while William Hawken and Ben McArthur played out a 24-24 tie.

And Lara took all 18 points with a 107-83 victory over Highton. 

LADDER: VICTORIA eight wins, 139 points; OCEAN GROVE eight wins, 134; SEBASTOPOL seven wins, 118; WEBBCONA seven wins, 116; Bareena five wins, 98; Geelong West five wins, 84; Lara three wins, 66; Avenue two wins, 59; Highton two wins, 44; Central Wendouree two wins, 42.

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