VICTORIA knows it has a big job ahead of it in the Ballarat Geelong premier division grand final at Queenscliff. Opponent Ocean Grove dominated the two clubs’ last meeting a fortnight ago in the semi final.
The man who did the damage then was Matt Flapper but his opposite number on Sunday, Shaun Clark, is relishing the challenge.
On Wednesday night, Clark junior learned his team had drawn Flapper’s four in the grand final. Shaun’s father Barry will play against Paul Cameron’s team, Jarrad Burt will meet Mick West, and Wes Lennecke’s four has drawn Craig Hodges.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Clark, 36, said. “Someone had to come up against him. My rink is looking forward to it.”
Shaun Clark and Flapper have played plenty of bowls together and against one another over the years. They are about the same age and even went to school together.
“We both went to Wendouree High, so I played a few times with him there,” Clark said. “We started around the same time.
“Matt has been in Melbourne for a couple of years but before that we played a fair bit of premier division in Ballarat against each other.”
While Flapper’s role in the semi final was pivotal, Shaun Clark says Victoria cannot afford to make the Ocean Grove skipper its only focus.
He says the Grovers have been a top side all season.
“Ocean Grove is a very talented side. Matt is not the only one we need to worry about because they have 15 other very good guys,” Clark says.
“Probably at the start of the season we thought they’d be the team to beat, with the players they’ve picked up. They had an influx of about seven new players that had played for other premier division teams.
“I think most teams had them down for a grand final spot and we aimed to finish top two to give ourselves every chance.
“Between the two sides, the skippers are very even across the board. If we play as a side the way we did last Saturday (agaisnt Sebastopolo), we will go very close to winning it. In a grand final you need your whole 16 doing the job.”
By winning the semi final, Ocean Grove earned a “home” final for the Geelong region, with Queenscliff the chosen venue.