VICTORIA put a stone in the works of Avenue’s strong home reputation, with a 108-72 victory in the Ballarat Geelong premier division in the Ballarat District Bowls Division.
Victoria won three of the four rinks, with Darren Fletcher securing two points for Avenue, defeating Jarrod Burt 22-19.
Victoria chairman of selectors and skipper Barry Clark said it was surprising for the side to come out with such a strong win.
“We knew we had to get off to a good start, and we did, setting ourselves up really well for the rest of the game,” Clark said
“We put the pressure on, and were able to maintain our composure.”
Victoria neared a 20 shot lead by afternoon tea, before Avenue tried to close the gap.
“They ran at us and got the difference down to about 12 shots, before Shaun Clark’s rink picked up a six and we pulled away again.”
Barry Clark’s rink had the most convincing win, defeating Glenn Sargent 33-8.
“Brian Boyle bowled really well as leader in my team, as well as Neil Capuano and Noel Verlinden – I just had to protect shots most of the time,” he said.
“The win is really a bonus for us – we had thought it was going to be a danger game. It was good to consolidate our position as second on the ladder.”
Clark said it was the best the side had played for a while.
“All 16 players went down with motivation, and everyone bowled well.”
Wes Lennecke had a narrow victory in his rink, defeating William Hawken 23-19, and Shaun Clark had the other win for Victoria, beating Steve Sullivan 33-23.
Avenue chairman of selectors Darren Fletcher said Victoria bowled really well on the day and deserved the win.
“We need to bowl to our ability, and we didn’t on Saturday,” Fletcher said. In an upset, Webbcona lost at home to Geelong West 79-98 with split rinks. Ash McArthur’s rink picked up only nine shots against Craig Elliot’s 36, holding Webbcona back. Although the disappointing loss, Webbcona remain in the top four and a strong contender to be in finals.
Sebastopol had a close win against Bareena, winning 96-89 with split rinks. Ocean Grove taught Highton a lesson about who’s on top, cleaning up in all four rinks. The final score had a difference of 45 shots, 120-75.
Central Wendouree continues to be competitive but unable to secure more wins. Central was defeated by Lara 95-80 but was able to pick up two points towards their tally, with Greg Brown beating Matt Crane 28-16.
LADDER: OCEAN GROVE 200 points, 12 wins; VICTORIA 188, 11; SEBASTOPOL 166, 10; WEBBCONA 140, 8; Bareena 134, 7; Geelong West 126, 8; Lara 92, 4; Highton 79, 4; Avenue 73, 2; Central Wendouree 62, 3.