Ballarat Memorial Sports Bowls Club justified its minor premier status by winning through to the BDBD division one grand final with a 13-shot win over Mt Xavier.
BMS responded to its semi-final loss to account for a dogged Mt Xavier side, BMS claimed victory 88 shots to 75, but it was far from a comfortable victory for the favourites.
Mt Xavier led at various stages throughout the preliminary final but BMS president Cameron Bryce said while the day did not go exactly to plan, the side’s experience got it over the line in a closely-fought encounter.
“It didn’t go to plan, they played very well – credit to the opposition...luckily our experience shone through,” Bryce said.
“They competed hard and they had nothing to lose, they were out after us.
“On paper we were the favourite, but sport is a funny thing – not every time does the favourite win.”
After speaking to the side after the match, Bryce said different members of the side had varying views on how the match played out, but he felt the pressure of expectation did weigh on the side.
“Some players (in the team) thought we were in control of the game and others thought that we were a bit shaky.
“We certainly felt the pressure, but I think their performance drove us a little bit.
“There were a couple of our fours that were struggling yesterday and they fought back really well and kept us in the game.”
Bryce said the club was “delighted” to book its place in the grand final and paid tribute to the sensational hospitality provided by Ballarat Bowling Club.
“It’s what you play bowls for, our club’s absolutely delighted that we’re in the game and we look forward to a great contest – Learmonth is a great club, they’ve got some outstanding players.
“The surface was immaculate and the way they looked after the players was fantastic.
Queenscliff booked its place in the Ballarat-Geelong premier bowls grand final after beating Lara on Saturday.
The Cliffers won the preliminary final by two shots and will meet Ocean Grove in next weekend’s decider.