You know it’s a close measure between two bowls when the marker can’t call it, the players can’t agree it and a string measure can’t determine it. This was what happened on the very last end of this year’s Ladies’ Singles Championship final. Sal Rayner clearly had shot but needed two for the win, while Chris Greenhatch was hoping that she held second shot in order to keep her hopes of a comeback alive. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts by the marker to measure for second shot the umpire was called. He duly arrived at the head with trammel and calipers in hand. After much careful positioning and adjustment of the measurement tools the spectators’ patience was rewarded – the closer bowl was indicated and it was Sal’s. We therefore congratulate her on becoming this year’s Ladies’ Singles Champion.
This year’s Club Singles Championship saw a final of the highest quality played between Wayne Gill and Athi Singh. Spectators were treated to an entertaining and hard fought contest of high quality draw bowling. The win could easily have gone either way up until the very last end. Congratulations, however, go to Wayne Gill, our new Club Champion, who finally prevailed after a gripping 27 ends.
It’s that time of the year again, when the Stellar Victorian Open causes a hiatus in pennant competition. Many members take the opportunity to enjoy a break but three of our members joined over 1800 other bowlers in entering the Vic Open, playing in both singles and pairs. Well done particularly to Jimmy on his fine run in the singles against top class opponents. He won both his sectional matches, one subsequent knockout match and was close in losing the match to determine who would progress to the last 64.
Good luck on Saturday to our only Winter Pennant semifinal representatives. Side 2 have been able to secure a semifinal place as a result of 3 consecutive wins. Our Div 1 and Div 4 sides both finished in seventh place on their respective ladders and will see no finals action.
On Sunday 8th April the club hosted teams from several neighbouring clubs to participate in our longstanding invitational tournament, which was recently renamed the Rob Fairweather Invitational Fours. Once more the club excelled in its organization thanks to the efforts of numerous volunteers who ensured that the day ran smoothly. After 24 ends of highly competitive bowling the winning team turned out to be one of our own – congratulations to Sue, Norman, Bede and Wayne on their fine win.
On Tuesday a cadre of supporters arrived at Elsternwick Park to barrack for our midweek second side as they sought to win promotion to division 2. Sadly, despite the much appreciated support, our side was unable to replicate their previous week’s result against the same opponents at the same venue. A determined home side pulled away after the break and secured a comfortable win. This ends our only shot at glory in either pennant competition this season. We will need to regroup and reapply ourselves in preparation for the 2018/19 season.
Sunday saw a host of eager bowlers descend on the club for the opening round of the Sandbelt Men’s Singles. The club’s sole competitive representative was Terry who acquitted himself very well but succumbed to world class opposition in his second match. Equally notable though was the fine job done by the club’s volunteer markers, expertly guided by event organizer Wayne. This was something a little different from their usual lawn bowls experience. There’s a markers’ manual of course, wouldn’t you know it, but more importantly a set of basic principles that a good marker will be mindful of. Apparently our volunteers adhered well to those principles and appreciation for a job well done was expressed by a number of players. Overall this was a successful, well-managed event and no doubt the club will be happy to welcome competitors back next year with a number of slightly more experienced markers ready to play their part.
On Thursday Albert Park’s top midweek pennant side completed a very successful season by winning their sectional final and securing another pennant flag for the club. Our side defeated Burwood District’s top midweek side by 63 to 54 shots. With 5 ends left to play the scores were evenly matched but our players were able to finish strongly to secure our second pennant in as many years. Congratulations to all who participated in this successful pennant campaign. We not only comfortably avoided the one-off relegation of half the section by finishng top but with this win now have the challenge of divisional finals to look forward to.
This year’s Inner City Winter Pennant wrapped up with finals being contested on July 2. None of the Albert Park sides managed to reach a final but we did have a more successful campaign than last year and there were a couple of notable highlights. Had you been in the clubhouse on June 11 you would have encountered the enthusiastic celebration of wins by all three APBC sides that day. Even more noteworthy was the overall performance by side 2 throughout the competition. Several wins and close fought loses resulted in them securing 4th place and a semi-final spot at the end. Unfortunately Camberwell Central’s only side, who had been dominant throughout the league matches, were too strong and our side did not progress to the final. It should be noted, however, that APBC 2 were playing in division 3, a division higher than last year, so reaching the semi-final stage represented a vastly improved performance and augurs well for our summer pennant prospects. Check out the winter pennant webpage for further details of league results and final standings.
Sadly our midweek pennant 2nd side fell 5 shots short in their semi-final against a strong Armadale 4th side. The day, however, will be forever memorable due to the application of the BV heat policy. APBC 2 fell behind early but rallied a little to stay in touch as the final ends approached. Then with one rink finished and just 3 ends left to play someone noted that the temperature had risen to 37 degrees, bringing the BV heat policy into effect. Now, during sectional play the worst case scenario can have teams waiting around for a couple of hours if the temperature looks likely to fall back below 36 degrees and they don’t wish to declare a draw. However, in finals play a draw is not permitted and teams may wait until darkness if they are reluctant to reconvene the following day. In this instance play finally resumed at 7:20pm, just half an hour before sunset.
At this point APBC 2 needed to make up 8 shots to draw and force a one end playoff by all three rinks. Rink 1 had two ends remaining and Albert Park managed to score +3 on the first. On rink 3 Armadale snatched +1 from a -4 position with a fine draw shot. This left Albert Park needing to score +6 on the final end and remarkably they were actually holding +6 with just one (opposition) bowl to come. It was a pressure shot in fading light, which had to finish within 1m of the jack to avoid a draw and deciding ends. Much to Armadale’s joy the shot was made and Albert Park scored just +1 on the final end. It was a disappointing result but a fittingly tense finale after about 10 hours spent at the club!