Kookaburras head back to scene of heavy defeat for semi-final

KEY PLAYER: Rob Baker has an important role to play this weekend as one of Sebastopol's skippers in its clash with Ocean Grove.
KEY PLAYER: Rob Baker has an important role to play this weekend as one of Sebastopol's skippers in its clash with Ocean Grove.

Sebastopol will return to the scene of one of its most damaging defeats for Saturday’s semi-final battle with Ocean Grove.

Just two weeks ago, the Kookaburras were thrashed 135-66 at Eastern Park, which is the venue for the clash with the Grovers.

However, Sebastopol skipper Ian Warner doesn’t seem phased by that recent result.

“It’s good we had a run on the green just recently and we are coming off a good win against Victoria (round 18),” Warner said.

Warner felt his team, this region’s only hope in the Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls finals series, was the outsider of the four sides left in the premiership race.

It’s good we had a run on the green just recently and we are coming off a good win against Victoria"

Sebastopol skipper Ian Warner

“Obviously on form we are very much the underdogs because the top three finished quite a few points and shots better than us for the season,” he said.

But Warner said Sebastopol can take confidence from the fact it has beaten all three at some point during the season.

After the two battles between the Kookaburras and the Grovers, the ledger sits at one win apiece. Back in round seven, Sebastopol claimed a two-shot victory away from home before Ocean Grove hit back in Ballarat, prevailing by six shots in round 16.

The winner of Saturday’s knockout clash will come up against the loser of the battle between Queenscliff and Bareena.

The Cliffers finished on top of the ladder after the home and away rounds, but was only shot difference clear of Bareena.

For the winner of Saturday’s game – also played at Eastern Park – a place in the grand final awaits.

Elsewhere, a huge battle between Ballarat East and Central Wendouree will determine the second team that progresses to the division one weekend pennant grand final.

The Two Blues suffered defeat at the hands of Buninyong last Saturday and will be looking to avoid a straight-sets exit against a Bears side that easily beat City Oval.

Central Wendouree crushed Ballarat East when the clubs met back in round four, before the latter reversed the result with a narrow win in round 13.

The victor will play Buninyong in the decider.

Preliminary finals will be held across the rest of the Ballarat District Bowls Division on Saturday before grand finals the following weekend.