Division one bowls finals series unpredictable

CITY Oval might have finished off the home and away season with back-to-back losses, but skipper Wayne Roberts remains adamant that the side is capable of recapturing the form that made it the benchmark of this season’s Ballarat District Bowls division one competition.

Saturday’s 107-100 loss to Smeaton away from home was one of many round 18 results that will make the 2013-14 finals series as unpredictable as any, with City Oval’s form sitting firmly at odds with the other clubs lining up next weekend.

“We’ve had a bit of a dip in the last two weeks, there’s no denying that, but we’ve had a top-two finish on our agenda since the start of the year and we were able to sew that up a couple of rounds ago,” Roberts said.

“Full credit to Smeaton – they handled the local conditions much better than we did.

“We’re totally focused on winning this week, but we’ll definitely have to lift our game.”

Roberts was one of three losing skippers for City Oval, with his four suffering a 26-19 loss to Jim Taylor while Ron Coxall’s team was defeated by Jim Taylor’s rink 28-22 and Gavin Mann’s squad went down to Bill Cosgrave’s four 34-25.

Only Heath Fumberger’s rink had any success, defeating Geoff Toose’s four, 34-19.

Smeaton lived up to its reputation of being strong at home, finishing its season in seventh position with six wins.

The top four has finally been decided, with Learmonth holding off BMS for fourth spot by just two premiership points.

The club belted 10th placed Webbcona 115-63 and needed every one of its 18 points to keep BMS away, after it thrashed Daylesford 126-72.

Central Wendouree continues to impress as the current form team of the competition, handing top-placed Ballarat a 96-80 loss at home.

Ballarat will now play City Oval for a grand final berth in this week’s finals series while Central Wendouree will play Learmonth for a spot in next week’s preliminary final.

LADDER: BALLARAT 232 points + 242 shots; CITY OVAL 221 + 211; CENTRAL WENDOUREE 209 + 250; LEARMONTH 186 + 81; BMS 184 + 103; Buninyong 166 + 42; Mt Xavier 127 - 67; Smeaton 107 - 237; Daylesford 95 - 374; Webbcona 93 - 251.