Ballarat Memorial Sports wasted no time making its presence felt in the region’s top bowls competition.
Last season’s BDBD division one premiers captured victory in their first game following promotion to Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls with a four-shot success against Lara on the home greens at Alfredton.
Saturday’s 89-85 result came against a Lara outfit that finished the 2016-17 season in second place on the ladder.
BMS captain Phil Clamp claimed the day’s biggest rink win, with his team prevailing by four shots. BMS skipper Mick Sloper also won by a shot, with a draw and a Lara win coming in the other rink battles.
Clamp told The Courier it was a hard-fought contest all day.
“They got seven or eight shots up with five or six ends to go and we never give it. The street fight nature came out and we just kept plugging away,” Clamp said.
Clamp said the round one success was big for the confidence within the group.
“When you go up to these higher grades you tend to lift yourself as well. You see the better bowlers and you concentrate a bit more and that’s what we intend to do this season,” Clamp said.
In terms of 2017-18 goals, Clamp said BMS was simply aiming to avoid relegation.
“We are under no illusions that it’s a tough gig. The Geelong sides have always been a little bit stronger and have had great representation down there,” he said.
“If we can win four to five games, hopefully that’s enough to keep us in there.”
The task doesn’t get any easier for BMS next weekend, with the side to hit the road for an away clash against Ocean Grove.
The Grovers opened the new campaign with a one-shot victory against Webbcona on Saturday.
Elsewhere, fellow promoted outfit Eastern Park wasn’t able to emulate BMS and claim a round one win.
The Eastern Park unit was beaten 107-75 by reigning premiers Queenscliff.
Sebastopol sits at the top of the table after an emphatic opening round display against City of Geelong.
The Kookaburras claimed all rinks in the 113-77 triumph.
Saturday’s other clash saw Bareena prevail against Victoria by eight shots.