JUST one rink went Avenue’s way in its season-defining Ballarat Geelong premier division bowls match against Central Wendouree on Saturday.
But it is the Bacchus Marsh club that is now in the box seat in its bid to stay in the premier grade.
Avenue left the match with 12 premiership points after its 92-80 away win against Centrals.
While three rinks went down for the visitors, skipper Glenn Sargent and teammates Warrick Stirling, Grant Stirling and Peter Yassar pulled Avenue across the line with a 32-11 victory over Eric Kosloff’s team.
“‘Sarg’ just had a day out,” fellow skipper Darren Fletcher said.
“They were playing beside me and they just had excellent bowls every time.
“Peter Yassar is in his first year at the club, coming from Werribee and you can’t buy experience like that.
“The two brothers have only been playing for a couple of years but they’ve come a long way.”
Elsewhere, Centrals skippers Greg Brown (25-22), John Nunn (21-18) and Bill Durand (23-20) had victories over Steve Sullivan, William Hawken and Fletcher.
Centrals elected to play the match on carpet instead of grass.
Fletcher said he was surprised, and admitted it caught the Bacchus March club off-guard.
However, once Avenue settled down, the move began to work in the visitors’ favour.
“I was shocked. Give them credit, they got on top of us early.
“We were 20 shots down at one stage and eight behind at the break.
“Their carpet wasn’t slow. They have a nice grass green and they didn’t use it. They put us on a surface we prefer.
“(The match) was worth double points for us because every point we get they didn’t.
“We need to get over Lara and then we’ll feel like we’ve done enough (to stay in premier division).”
Victoria grabbed top of the table with a 118-72, four-rink sweep of Ocean Grove.
On a heavy, 11.5-second grass green, Wes Lennecke’s team defeated Craig Hodges’ 31-14, Jarrod Burt’s four defeated Matt Flapper’s 33-23, Barry Clark and co won 30-13 against Paul Cameron, and Shaun Clark’s team got home 24-22 against Ken Thomas.
Bareena displaced Webbcona from the top four with a 100-91 victory. Rinks split, with Webbcona skippers Tony Wood (30-25) and Brett Mahoney (29-26) up against Ben Wilding and Daniel Priddle, While Ryan Tainton (27-15 against Ben McArthur) and Brannon Shelton (22-17 against Ash McArthur) scoring for the Geelong side.
Sebastopol’s top two chances took a hit, Highton downing the Kookaburras 109-78 at Highton.
For Highton Graeme Wright’s four won 29-16 against Rob Baker’s crew, Zane Lugg won 30-24 against Scott Roberts, and Peter Hardy was 28-13 up on Ian Warner. Andrew Myers’ team won 25-22 against Adam Lee’s to unsure Sebastopol did not leave completely empty-handed.
Geelong West also kept its finals hopes alive with a 101-76 triumph over Lara.
Just six points now separate Bareena, Webbcona and Geelong West are in the battle for fourth place on the premier division ladder.
LADDER: VICTORIA 12 wins, 206 points; OCEAN GROVE 12 wins, 200; SEBASTOPOL 10 wins, 168; BAREENA eight wins, 148; Webbcona eight wins, 144 points; Geelong West nine wins, 142; Highton five wins, 95; Lara four wins, 94; Avenue three wins, 85; Central Wendouree three wins, 68.