CITY OVAL has wasted no time in making good on its promise to improve during this year’s Ballarat Ballarat District Bowls division one pennant season, scoring an upset victory over Ballarat in the season opener on Saturday.
The visitors quickly opened up a 14-shot lead over Ballarat before the afternoon tea break, and consolidated the advantage in the afternoon session, eventually winning 108 shots to 87.
Each team won two rinks each, but it was the quality of City Oval’s victories that spelled the difference between the two sides.
Wayne Roberts’ four defeated their opponents 29 shots to 21, while Heath Fumberger’s team scored a match defining 36-17 shot win over their opponents.
“It was a very encouraging start to the season and we’ll look to build on that next week,” Roberts said.
“We went in quietly confident and the whole team contributed well.”
City Oval has been through a productive off-season recruiting program, in which the club has landed five new faces from opposition clubs in a bid to bolster its stocks after a disappointing seventh placing last year.
Ballarat itself has had a solid off-season recruiting process, landing premier division bowlers Greg Brown and Brett Forrest, both of whom performed well in their new roles as skippers.
Brown’s team beat Peter Orr’s team 25-18, while Brett Forrest’s four edged over Gavin Mann’s four 24-23.
“Normally the home ground advantage plays a part, but that wasn’t the case for us on the weekend,” Ballarat bowler Brad Fothergill said.
“We always have a tight tussle with City Oval – apart from last year they usually make the four – and this is the second year in a row that they’ve got over us at home.”
In other matches Buninyong gave Daylesford a sharp dose of division one standard bowls, beating the newcomers 109-68, while Learmonth scored a convincing 26-shot victory over Smeaton, winning 102-76.
Central Wendouree belted Mt Xavier 111-64 and Ballarat Memorial Sports got over the line in a tight match against Webbcona 98-87.
LADDER: CENTRAL WENDOUREE 18 points, 173.44 percent; BUNINYONG 18, 160.29; LEARMONTH 16, 134.21; CITY OVAL 14, 121.84; BMS 14, 112.64; Webbcona 4, 88.78; Ballarat 4, 82.08; Smeaton 2, 74.51; Daylesford 2, 62.39; Mt Xavier 0, 57.66.