LEARMONTH played one of their best games of the season, defeating top four side Mt Xavier 105-97 in the Ballarat District Bowls Division weekend pennant division one.
Both sides knew they had a challenge on their hands, but had high hopes with it being crucial to win with finals approaching.
Learmonth skipper Gordon ‘Tiger’ Powell said it was a fantastic win for the side, especially after a slow start to the match.
“Early in the game we were a good 20 shots down, both Mick Casey and David Pike were about 10 shots each, and they both fought back.
“By afternoon tea we had closed the gap to about eight shots.”
After then the playing levelled out, with the overall score changing continuously.
“We had to close that gap in the ladder – we’re still within reach of finals if we keep playing like we did on Saturday.
“Everyone just put in and bowled really well. Greg Plier, the leader in my rink, bowled really well.”
Powell’s rink defeated Robert Storey 33-14.
“In the end Mick Casey won by one, and David Pike only lost by one – it was a fantastic effort by both teams to come back.”
Casey beat John Maher 26-25 and Xavier’s Beau Adams won against Pike 26-25.
Mt Xavier selector Brian McKeegan said it was unfortunate Learmonth came back strongly after his team was up at afternoon tea.
“We had one disappointing rink that have been up and down this season, and with them down by 19 shots it was a bit hard for the rest of us to cover them,” McKeegan said.
Mt Xavier’s Aaron Emonson had a strong win against Bill Shillito 32-21.
Ballarat East defeated Victoria 98-86 with split rinks.
None of the rinks had a tight finish, with Victoria’s Nick Avery 23-16 win over Peter Wilson the narrowest of the wins. Chris McDonald’s 36-15 victory over Bob Witcher was the strongest victory, helping Ballarat East get over the line for their win.
Ballarat continued their strong season with a 96-82 victory over Smeaton. Smeaton was only able to pick up one rink on their home ground, where Jim Taylor defeated Peter Hopkins 29-19.
Webbcona had a win, separating itself from bottom-of-the-ladder Victoria and distancing itself from possible relegation after defeating City Oval 99-94 with split rinks at City Oval.
Top side BMS won at home with split rinks against Buninyong, 98-88.
LADDER: BMS 175 points, 10 wins; BALLARAT 172, 10; BALLARAT EAST 162, 9; MT XAVIER 146, 9; Learmonth 130, 7; City Oval 113, 6; Buninyong 104, 5; Smeaton 102, 6; Webbcona 91, 4; Victoria 65, 2.