Battling Avenue eyeing first win

It has been a tough season for Avenue, but a golden opportunity to claim some long-awaited success awaits the line-up this Saturday afternoon.

The Bacchus Marsh-based club – winless at the bottom of the Ballarat District Bowls Division ladder – hosts a Midlands Golf outfit that has managed just one triumph so far in 2016-17.

Avenue chairman of selectors Grant Stirling has labelled Saturday’s team as the strongest the club has assembled this season and isn’t shying away from the fixture’s importance.

Stirling said a defeat this weekend will leave the side in serious relegation trouble.

“It’s bottom versus second bottom and really a must-win game for Avenue because if we don’t win we could potentially be two games clear on the bottom,” Stirling told The Courier.

“That basically means that after the break you’re really pushing up hill."

Stirling said his side will be boosted this Saturday by the inclusion of Charlie Grant and Glenys Kay, who were missing from the division one team’s loss to Learmonth last weekend.

That clash saw Ben Gould skipper his first rink success, with Stirling labeling the second-season pennant bowler a real key for the future of the club.

Stirling said the success of Bill Hawken’s rink has been another highlight for Avenue this season.

Missing this weekend will be Boratto brothers Joe and Dino, who have other commitments.

Stirling said Avenue has been beaten narrowly in a number of fixtures this campaign in what is a “very, very competitive” division.

Midlands Golf heads into battle following a 20-shot loss to Ballarat East and holds a 16-point lead on Avenue at the foot of the table.

Ladder-leaders Sebastopol is two points clear at the summit and can extend its advantage when it takes on Mt Xavier on Saturday.

In other round seven games, second-placed Ballarat East will host Central Wendouree, which is sixth, BMS locks horns with Ballarat and Creswick tackles Learmonth.

BRIGHT START: Avenue's Ben Gould is being touted as a real important player of the future for the Bacchus Marsh-based club. Picture: Dylan Burns.

BRIGHT START: Avenue's Ben Gould is being touted as a real important player of the future for the Bacchus Marsh-based club. Picture: Dylan Burns.

LADDER

Sebastopol 68

Ballarat East 66

BMS 66

Learmonth 46

Ballarat 45

Central Wendouree 40

Mt Xavier 36

Creswick 33

Midlands Golf 33

Avenue 17