OCEAN Grove has emerged victorious from last season’s premier division grand final rematch, defeating Victoria in round five of Ballarat-Geelong district bowls pennant on Saturday.
The visiting side began the encounter in fine form, quickly opening up a 10-shot lead and winning three rinks for the match en-route to the 91-84 victory.
Victoria entered the half-time break 13 shots down, and fell even further behind before a spirited comeback left it just two shots down with a few ends to play.
“We never gave up at any time and bridged quite a substantial gap pretty well, but we just came up short in the end,” Victoria skipper Noel Verlinden said.
“Realistically we were going to struggle to beat them, but we certainly haven’t lost heart over it and there should be bigger and better things for us further down the track.
“We’ve had a lot of players that have been unavailable throughout the start of the season and haven’t been able to establish a consistent side yet.”
Verlinden was Victoria’s only winning skipper, with his team defeating Craig Hodges’ four 26-16.
Ocean Grove’s Mick West defeated Jess Thomas’ rink 23-20, Matthew Flapper’s team defeated Jarrod Burt’s 26-19, and Paul Cameron’s four defeated Tony Wood’s four 26-19.
Ocean Grove remains on top of the ladder while Victoria has slid into sixth spot on 40 points.
In other matches, Sebastopol climbed into the top four for the first time with a 102-87 victory over Ballarat East and Bareena won a tight match against Avenue 91-87.
All four of Geelong West’s rinks won in its 116-85 victory over Highton and Queenscliff proved to be too strong for Webbcona, winning 105-83 away from home.
LADDER: OCEAN GROVE 80 points, GEELONG WEST 78, QUEENSCLIFF 61, SEBASTOPOL 48, Bareena 44, Victoria 40, Webbcona 37, Avenue 26, Highton 26, Ballarat East 10.