Division 1 bowls: Ballarat comes from behind to down Smeaton 

BALLARAT has been given a huge fright in the lead-up to the Ballarat District Bowls division one finals series, coming from behind to secure a one-shot victory over Smeaton in round 14 action on Saturday.

The visiting side found itself 15 shots down at the afternoon tea break but rallied late to secure a 90-89 win.

The match came down to the very last end, with skipper Brad Fothergill turning the tide Ballarat’s way on his second-last bowl of the day when the scores were drawn at 89 apiece.

“They’re (Smeaton) not a bad side at all and they always seem to get up and about for us – there was only a one-shot difference the first time we played them this season,” Ballarat selector Mark Fothergill said.

“We’ve spoken a lot about not giving up our second spot and the double chance in finals, but there were some nerve-wracking moments in the end there.

“It was a match that we thought would have been a routine win for us, but we really had to grind out the win and it will be handy for fine-tuning ourselves with the finals just four weeks away.”

Brad Fothergill’s rink defeated Smeaton skipper Jim Taylor’s rink 24-18, while Mick Sloper’s four put in a strong performance against Greg May’s four for a 30-24 victory.

Two of Smeaton’s skippers in Bill Cosgrave and Geoff Toose tasted success, with Cosgrave’s team defeating Brett Forrest’s four 26-17, while Toose’s rink outclassed Greg Brown’s four 21-19.

Ballarat remains in second position on the ladder, while Smeaton is still on the bottom, just two points and 51 shots away from ninth-placed Daylesford.

LADDER: CITY OVAL 199 points + 278 shots, BALLARAT 189 + 213, BMS 155 + 92, CENTRAL WENDOUREE 152 + 172, Learmonth 139 + 4, Buninyong 132 + 70, Mt Xavier 96 + -70, Webbcona 68 + -200, Daylesford 66 + -308, Smeaton 64 + -251.

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