QUEENSCLIFF is on the verge of creating history after advancing through to the Ballarat-Geelong premier division bowls grand final.
Having defeated reigning premiers Ocean Grove by five shots in a nail-biting encounter on Saturday, the Cliffers now have the chance to become the first club to win the premier
division title the year after winning the division one premiership.
In a remarkable preliminary final at Torquay, Queenscliff secured a tense 103-98 victory despite winning just one of four rinks – that of young gun Luke Wayth.
The result leaves last year’s division one winners with the chance to record consecutive premierships when it squares off against Geelong West next week.
Queenscliff chairman of selectors Barry Gladman said it was a monumental effort for the club to even advance as far as it had, given it was only promoted back into the top division this season.
“It means a great deal to the club just to get this far, but of course we want to go one better,” Gladman said.
“We never would have thought at the start of the season we would finish second and then end up playing in the grand final.
“We always thought we would be solid and up there somewhere, but to be here is great.”
There were times throughout Saturday’s match where the result was very much in the balance, with scores level halfway through the clash.
However, Queenscliff crept out to a slight advantage and had virtually secured the result by the time the final end came around, holding a seven shot advantage.
Ocean Grove managed to claw back two shots, but in reality stood little chance of a miracle comeback.
The match finished with Ocean Grove actually winning two rinks (those of Craig Hodges and Mick West), while the battle between the rinks of Queenscliff’s Steve Sullivan and Grove’s Matthew Flapper finished in a 28-all tie.
Wayth’s rink was convincing over Paul Cameron’s in its decisive 31-18 victory.
“We were all pretty even for the day, but Luke’s rink was unbelievable to win that convincingly,” Gladman said.
“That ended up being the difference in the end.”