Bowls: Victoria shuts gate on Webbcona's finals hopes

THE gate has been shut on Webbcona’s bid to play finals in Ballarat Geelong premier division bowls this season by cross-town rival Victoria.

The Vics dominated in two rinks, while just getting up in another, on the way to a comprehensive 124-76 victory on its grass greens on Saturday.

Shaun Clark’s team set the home side in motion, defeating Tony Wood’s four 42-8. Barry Clark’s team also won comfortably with a 33-16 result over Ash McArthur’s crew.

Wes Lennecke had a much tighter contest against Ben McArthur before getting up 29-27, while Brett Mahoney’s team flew the flag for Webbcona with a 25-20 victory over Jarrod Burt and co.

“We continued to consolidate our position in top spot,” Victoria third Noel Verlinden said.

“It was close early but we broke away after the break and they weren’t able to peg us back. 

“If we have a win next week, we should be able to hold top spot, so that’s what we’re aiming for.”

The 16-2 scoreline kept Victoria four points clear at the top of the premier division ladder and in the box seat for a home final.

Sebastopol can also prepare for a home final, albeit a sudden death one, with a 98-86 victory over Central Wendouree. 

The Kookaburras had three rink wins: to skippers Ian Warner 21-19 over John Nunn, Scott Roberts 26-16 over Greg Brown, and Andrew Myers 30-26 against Bill Durand. Centrals’ Eric Kosloff and co defeated Rob Baker’s team 25-21. 

The result of Saturday’s Geelong region derby between Highton and Geelong West conspired to bring down Webbcona as West won enough points to put finals out of Webbcona’s reach. Geelong West just scraped across the line 97-96 and Highton, despite winning three of four rinks, fell perilously close to the relegation zone. For Highton, Peter Hardy’s rink won 24-23, Zane Lugg’s 27-26 and Graeme Wright’s 28-26, but it was undone by West’s John O’Donnell and co who won 22-17. 

Geelong West’s sole thought for position four is now Bareena, although Bareena itself dropped the ball with an 85-93 away loss to Lara. While Michael Kelly (26-16) and Ryan Tainton (24-23) earned points for Bareena, that was cancelled out by victories for Lara skippers (Damian Cotter (25-18) and James Derham (29-17). It was an important points haul for Lara, which could yet eject Highton as premier division’s relegated Geelong region club.

At the other end of the ladder top Geelong side Ocean Grove did not have everything its own way against understrength Ballarat division survivor Avenue at Bacchus Marsh. Grove won 101-83, with rink wins to skippers Matt Flapper (27-13), Paul Cameron (22-19) and Craig Hodges (27-25). Steve Sullivan collected two points for Avenue with a 26-25 win to put a cherry on the club’s successful campaign to stay in premier division for another season.

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