By Jack Rollings
The weather started out overcast during the fourth round of the Saturday pennant metropolitan bowls competition, with mist from low clouds. Then the wind picked up and blew the clouds away, and it wasn’t too bad a day for bowling.
Monbulk 1 played at home against Boronia 1. Both sides came into the round with the same win/loss ratio. But Monbulk had extra incentive to win this round – Boronia was the opponent who got the better of Monbulk in last year’s final. Those important games are not forgotten.
Tony French’s team trailed in the first third, with just two winning ends. But they dominated after that, dropping only three ends for the rest of the match. They did drop a couple of clangers towards the end of the day, but they had already notched up some good multiples of their own, with two 3s, a 4 and a 6. Monbulk won the rink 28 shots to 16.
Jim Bras’ team had a close match in the first third, with level scores at 1 all, 2 all, 3 all and 4 all. Then, just before the afternoon break, Monbulk grabbed a big 5 shotter. They held onto the lead after that. Even though they didn’t win as many ends in the back half, and they dropped a couple of 3s, their wins included a 3 and another 5, so they went on to win the rink 20 shots to 16.
Eric Markham’s team won twelve ends including a 3, two 4s and a 5, while their only clangers were a 3 and a 4. At the halfway mark Monbulk was 4 shots up, and then 10 shots up with only a third to go. That’s when Boronia fought back with four straight wins to get within 5 shots. But Monbulk won the final three ends to take the win 27 shots to 15.
Brian Smith’s team led in the first third. Then Boronia dominated in the middle of the game, taking three 3s in a row, and later winning five ends in a row. When “Up and back” was called, Monbulk was still on a single figure, but they managed to claim the final two ends with good scores, to lessen the blow. Monbulk lost the rink 17 shots to 23.
Overall Monbulk 1 defeated Boronia 1 by 92 shots to 70, with three winning rinks. It was a strong win, and it puts Monbulk back up to second on the ladder. Next week Monbulk travels to Warburton. This will be only the second home game for Warburton this season and they won their only other home game comfortably. It will be a good challenge for Monbulk.
Monbulk 2 played away against Heatherdale.
Paul Bloom’s team picked up a 4 shotter on the first end and looked set for an easy day. But then Heatherdale won three ends in a row to level at 5 shots all on the fifth end. Then Monbulk picked up some good scores to lead by 9 shots at the halfway mark, and even though Heatherdale picked up a 3 and a 4 after the break, the Monbulk bowlers were able to win more of the mat and they took the win 25 shots to 15.
Graeme Goller’s team won a 6 shotter on the first end and set their tone for the day. They won thirteen ends, with some good multiples included, and they didn’t give away anything bigger than a 2. They won the rink emphatically 31 shots to 12.
Case Broekhof’s team started slowly, winning just four ends out of the first twelve, all for singles. At that stage they had just dropped a 4 shot clanger and they trailed by 11 shots. But from then on, the Monbulk bowlers staged a great comeback, winning a few ends in a row and edging closer. On the second last end, they picked up a 3 shotter to take the lead, then consolidated with a single on the last end, to win the rink 19 shots to 17.
Don Barnetson’s team had a frustrating day. Every time they got their noses in front and it looked like they could build a good margin, they would drop a big clanger and have to start all over again. On the twelfth end they led by 12 shots, then dropped 12 shots over the next three ends. The race home was tight and scores were level going into the last end. But Monbulk managed to win the end with a double and win the rink 23 shots to 21.
Overall Monbulk 2 defeated Heatherdale 3 by 98 shots to 65, with four winning rinks. Monbulk 2 is now fifth on the ladder with two wins and two losses. Next week they play against the top side, Ringwood 3, but the game will be played at Monbulk.
Monbulk 3 played away against Mitcham.
Allan Brooke’s team had a close match all day with level scores and lead changes. With two ends to play Monbulk trailed by 5 shots. They won a single, to trail by 4 shots, and then, on the last end, they picked up a massive 6 shotter to win the rink 19 shots to 17.
Chris Sullivan’s team struggled early against Mitcham. Their losses in the front half included three 4s and, at the halfway mark, they trailed by 14 shots. In the back half they were able to stay close and contain the numbers, picking up a good 3 shotter towards the end of the game. Monbulk lost the rink 12 shots to 27.
Graeme Godkin’s team led all day, winning thirteen ends during the match. They were up by 8 shots at the halfway mark. Then, in the back half Mitcham fought back, with both sides taking some multiples. But Monbulk was able to maintain the margin, winning the rink 20 shots to 12.
Overall Monbulk 3 lost the round 51 shots to 56, but they gained four ladder points for the two rink wins. They are now fifth on the ladder. Next week they play at home against Donvale, who are yet to register a win this season, so they are sure to be hungry.