BALLARAT EAST’S remarkable unbeaten run in Ballarat District Bowls division one now includes a semi-final.
Extending their consecutive number of victories to 13, the double blues rolled past Ballarat Memorial Sports, up 100-84 on Saturday at Sebastopol Bowling Club.
East scored in three rinks, although all four were competitive virtually all afternoon.
Luke Whitehead’s team defeated Phil Clamp’s 26-19, Chris McDonald’s four won 29-23 against Des Williams, and Peter Wilson and co won 28-22 against Kevin McLean. For the Diggers, Jeff Ryan’s team defeated Peter Dean’s 20-17.
“It was pretty close all day,” Ballarat East leader Mick Brown said.
“At afternoon tea we were about a dozen up, and we finished up about that in the end. I think we picked up a few shots on the last couple of ends. We were only about five or six up with five ends to go.”
Into its first division one grand final for more than a decade, East will now wait to see the outcome of next weekend’s preliminary between BMS and Ballarat, after the “’Rats” defeated Mt Xavier in a thriller at Sebastopol.
Mt Xavier hit the front with about 20 ends to go, before Ballarat steadied for a 97-93 victory.
“It was too close for comfort,” Ballarat third Mark Fothergill admitted.
“One of our teams dropped a four with two ends to go so we had to look at the numbers and take a look.
“The rinks that were left out on the green held on. It was all about making sure we had it in the bag.
“It was very trying conditions in the wind out at Sebas. It was still a high standard game and you had to make every shot count. It was not an easy game because you had to concentrate on every bowl you put down.”
Ballarat was back to near full strength after an unsettled fortnight, and it showed with a more consistent performance against the X-men.
Andrew Dalgleish’s four defeated Beau Adams’ 23-21, Peter Hopkins’ team won 26-22 against Aaron Emonson’s, and Wayne Fitzgerald won 29-24 against John Maher. For the X-men Mick Storey’s team won 26-19 against Paul Ashmore.
Fothergill was confident, with a more settled side, Ballarat could match BMS in the preliminary final.
“We’re confident playing BMS on grass because we are a grass specialist,” Fothergill said.
“We’re not over confident because they are a very good side.”