Victoria bows out of premier bowls division on a high with surprise win

IF THERE was ever a result that could sum up Victoria’s up-and-down, slightly disappointing season in the Ballarat-Geelong district premier bowls division, it was Saturday’s bittersweet victory over ladder leader Geelong West.

The reigning grand finalist trumped the competition benchmark 95-79 at home with a performance that left it with some satisfaction after missing out on the finals series.

Victoria selector Barry Clark said the round 18 win was as good as the side had performed throughout the year and was pleased with the way the season panned out.

“We had a good win, we were out there to win it, but it’s still disappointing to think our season may have been won or lost on the heatwave round (round 16),” Clark said.

“We’ve finished about where I thought we finished – I thought that we had a good year and I’d certainly give it a tick.

“We were missing four or five players from last year’s team but we were able to ground several more and will be in good stead because of that.”

Clark’s rink scored a 27-12 win over his West opponent while Craig Ford’s team set up result with a huge 32-16 win over Jim Fitzpatrick.

Victorian skippers Tony Wood and Noel Verlinden both had losses as the two sides split the rinks.

Wood’s four lost to Carl Inderberg’s team 25-19 while Verlinden’s rink was handed a 26-17 defeat by Craig Elliot’s rink.

Despite the loss, West remains well and truly on top of the ladder and will play this Queenscliff for a spot in the grand final after it sealed second place with a 118-57 belting of Highton.

Sebastopol leapt over Ocean Grove and into third position with a comfortable 112-78 win over Webbcona.

Meanwhile, Grove, last year’s premier, has plenty of work left to do after suffering a 100-98 loss at the hands of Bareena in the final home and away round.

It will now play Sebastopol for a spot in the preliminary finals.

Avenue finished off its season on a high, handing Ballarat East a 103-77 for its second win in a row.

LADDER: GEELONG WEST 236 points + 242 shots; QUEENSCLIFF 229 + 285; SEBASTOPOL 223 + 221; OCEAN GROVE 213 + 259; Victoria 186 + 137; Bareena 174 + 140; Avenue 118 - 76; Webbcona 111 - 272; Highton 96 - 272; Ballarat East 34 - 664.