Buninyong striving for return to the top tier

HE'S BACK: Buninyong bowler Col Hayes was out injured in round one, but has been picked to return for Saturday's clash with Ballarat East.
HE'S BACK: Buninyong bowler Col Hayes was out injured in round one, but has been picked to return for Saturday's clash with Ballarat East.

Buninyong endured a rough time in the Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls last season, but that doesn’t seem to have dented the desire of club president Wayne Morgan to return to the top competition in the region.

The team was relegated after winning just one match during 2016-17 and is back in the division one ranks that it won the season before.

Buninyong opened the new Ballarat District Bowls Division weekend pennant campaign in the best possible fashion last Saturday with a 25-shot success against fellow relegated outfit City Oval.

That result came on City Oval’s home greens and has the side heading into this weekend’s clash with Ballarat East high on confidence.

Morgan indicated the club was setting its sights high this season and wanted a return to premier competition as soon as possible.

“We are keen to play at the highest standard we can play,” he said.

We are keen to play at the highest standard we can play.

Buninyong president Wayne Morgan

Morgan said while the team only won one game during 2016-17, he felt it could have possibly claimed five or six given how tight some of the losing margins were.

“The standard is a lot more consistent,” Morgan, who played a large part of the campaign in the premier team, said.

“There’s a lot more bowlers in the head and closer to the kitty. The thirds and skippers are really on top of their game.”

After playing in last weekend’s victory over City Oval, Morgan has made way for the return of Col Hayes, who was out injured for the round one encounter.

“We played at City Oval and coming up against the other side that came back from premier, it was a terrific win and really good way to start the season,” Morgan said of last weekend’s result.

Ballarat East also heads into the round two fixture on the back of a good victory.

The Two Blues handed Sebastopol a 116-87 defeat to sit second on the ladder.

Elsewhere this Saturday afternoon, top side Central Wendouree will look to keep its place at the summit when it hosts 2016-17 grand finalists Learmonth.

The Bears defeated Creswick last round and will have a tough battle against a Learmonth outfit that also prevailed in the first game of the new season.

In other division one games, Sebastopol will take on Mt Xavier, Webbcona is scheduled to meet City Oval and Ballarat has a meeting with the Wickers.

The Kookaburras currently sit at the top of the Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls table and will travel to Lara this weekend.

Of the other Ballarat teams, BMS has a tough road trip to Ocean Grove, Victoria will host reigning premiers Queenscliff and Webbcona has a clash with Eastern Park.