LEARMONTH has claimed a huge scalp on the eve of the Ballarat District Bowls Division’s Christmas break, upsetting Ballarat Memorial Sports’ stellar run of form in division one pennant on Saturday.
The home side delivered in style in the round 12 match to run out 103-89 winners and edge closer to a top-four placing.
Learmonth’s green troubled several of the BMS bowlers in the opening few ends, and it was all the hosts needed to open up a five-shot half-time lead.
“We were up for the majority of the match and just as well because it was a match that we had to win,” Learmonth selector David Kelly said.
“We were confident beforehand that we were going to put on a good show on our home green, and we felt like if we had lost yesterday we would have also lost contact with the top four.”
The win elevates Learmonth into fifth position on the ladder, now just two wins plus points behind the fourth placed BMS.
Learmonth’s Gordon Powell-led rink proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the four scoring a big win over Des Williams’ four, 33-11.
Fred Lennecke’s rink also notched up a win for Learmonth, with the four securing a four-shot win over Cameron Bryce’s team, 24-20.
BMS skippers David Schreenan and Kevin McLean both put in strong performances for the visitors, with Schreenan’s team defeating Kelly’s team 26-20, while McLean’s rink ousted Wes Lennecke’s rink 32-26.
In other matches City Oval was given a scare by a dogged Mt Xavier, eventually falling over the line 89-79, while Ballarat thrashed Daylesford 134-66.
Smeaton caused the second big upset of the round, defeating finals aspirant Buninyong 91-88, while the first draw of the season was played out between Webbcona and Central Wendouree, with both teams finishing on 82 shots apiece.
LADDER: CITY OVAL 170 points + 239 shots, BALLARAT 157 + 180, CENTRAL WENDOUREE 134 + 168, BMS 133 + 80, Learmonth 119 + 2, Buninyong 118 + 91, Webbcona 66 - 158, Mt Xavier 64 - 130, Daylesford 61 - 229, Smeaton 58 - 243.