Mt Xavier responds to poor loss to topple ladder leader

Mount Xavier is knocking on the door of the division 1 top four in the Ballarat District Bowls Division following its 13-shot win over the previously top-of-the-table Sebastopol.

Mount Xavier fought hard to gain the points over a Sebastopol side that was on top of the ladder heading into round 7.

The Mount Xavier side gathered prior to the match to prepare for the day’s play, it’s something the team would not normally do, but following the 49-shot loss to Ballarat Memorial Sports last week it needed to refocus and find its best form – which it did.

Skipper Kevin McKeegan said it was important not to dwell on last week’s result and now having returned to the winners list is nine points off fourth position.

"We had a bad hiccup there,” McKeegan said.

"I think it's a good thing, just to come together at the start and put your goals in front of you and hopefully you achieve them on the day. We said yesterday, last week was nothing to get ourselves down about, we all played fairly well, we were just out-bowled.

"To bounce back from a 49-shot loss and then get a 13-shot win - it's a big turnaround. It does instill confidence.”

Mount Xavier finished strongly to overcome Sebastopol. With 10 ends remaining there was just four shots separating the two sides, but it managed to “step up” and move clear.

McKeegan’s rink led all day, as did Chris McDonald’s – the pair boasting 13 and seven shot advantages. While the other rinks fought hard to stay in touch and mustered a draw and lost by seven respectively.

McKeegan said it was a consistent team effort that brought about the result. Consistent form is something it had been searching for and Saturday was a step in the right direction.

"We had a good win, a good team effort. Against the top side, so it was definitely a valuable win for us it keeps us in the hunt. That's what we've been looking for, but it was more prevalent yesterday.”

"At one stage there was only four shots in the game with 10 ends to play, to come away with a 13-shot win was a great effort.”

Mount Xavier now has a fantastic opportunity to surge into the top four as it takes on fourth-placed Learmonth. McKeegan expects to enter the crucial match-up with a similar side to Saturday given the strong performance and knows that next week’s result could be defining come season’s end.

"To win those types of games are a benefit to you because you're away from your own green and they're a very good team. They're the sort of games we need to win. To have the win yesterday and to back it up again next week will be even better for the team.”