THE race for division one bowls honours has opened up after Ballarat East toppled Mt Xavier at Fortune Street on Saturday.
The double blues split rinks with the X-men but scored heavily enough to claim the lion’s share of the points with a 106-89 victory.
East’s win allowed BMS to claim top spot before the Christmas break after the Diggers dug deep to hold off a plucky Victoria 85-83 at Victoria.
“We came in at afternoon tea up, but not by a great deal.
“We bridged the gap after that. Three of our four rinks then won the first end after that and that set us up. We had a chance with all four rinks at one stage.
“The big one for us was Pete Wilson against Beau Adams, who is probably their best skipper. I’m pretty sure he was down at afternoon.
“We’re still wary of City Oval. We need to keep that extra gap between fourth and fifth, so getting 16 points at Mt Xavier, you’d take that any day of the week.”
It was East’s fifth straight victory, allowing the blues to maintain a 23-point buffer to fifth placed City Oval, after the Hawks defeated Learmonth 113-98.
Callum Mann’s team helped get City Oval over the line with a 40-20 victory over David Pike. Heath Fumberger (23-18) and Wayne Roberts (22-21) also scored for the Hawks, while Bill Shillito’s four ensured Learmonth did not go home empty handed with a 29-28 victory over Gavin Mann.
BMS was challenged before taking home 15 points from Victoria. Kevin McLean’s four won 31-17, and Jeff Ryan’s crew got up 198-17. Tim Slater’s team won 29-16 for the Vics, while Bob Whitcher and Des Williams finished locked on 20-apiece.
Ballarat retained third with a 108-98 triumph over Webbcona at Webbcona. Andrew Dalgleish (27-13) and Paul Ashmore (27-20) scored for the visitors while Colin Young (34-28) and Derick Pattie (31-26).