This season the club bounced back from the disruption of the pandemic to field strong sides in both weekend and midweek pennant, even entering a side in each of the short 7-a-side seasons. Of the five regular pennant sides only Midweek Side 2 failed to make finals. Midweek Side 1 had a strong season but succumbed in the sectional final to a determined Port Melbourne side. The standout performance in weekend pennant was by Side 2, who finished 2nd in their section. They narrowly defeated Elsternwick Club 2 in the home semi-final and then held steady on neutral ground to win the final against Chadstone 2 and secure both the pennant and promotion. Everyone is looking forward to raising their game for success in division 4 next season.
Freedom is back! and pennant is back! Fling off your face masks and leap onto the green! Okay don't leap - there are still some rules, like those protecting our playing surface. Hats off to Bowls Victoria who have configured the compacted season at short notice and to our midweek selectors who have already posted the teams for this Thursday's 7-a-side match. Links to the results / ladders on Bowlslink for all the sections in which our sides compete can be found on the Competitions page. Good luck to all members competing this season - let's make it memorable for the best of bowling reasons.
The metropolitan pennant season is once again coming to an end. Sectional play is complete and just one of our five sides has made finals - congratulations to weekend pennant Side 1. See our competitions page for links to the final standings for each of our sides. Midweek sides struggled this season following the loss of several top players but both narrowly avoided relegation and achieved some notable wins along the way. With newer players refreshing their ranks, the weekend sides fared better and all had at least some chance of making finals with a couple of rounds to go. The highlight was Side 1 who were in the four for most of the season. Some results, however, did not go as hoped and our fourth place finish leaves us facing an away semi-final at Bentleigh. Strong support at the away venue could make all the difference so members are encouraged to make the trip to Bentleigh on Saturday to support our players.
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 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.
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!
In Saturday Pennant the APBC 2nd side achieved magnificent victories over the weekend, the first to achieve promotion to Division 4 and the second to win Albert Park's first Section Pennant in 5 years.
On Saturday both 1st and 2nd sides competed in pennant section semi-finals. Sadly the firsts encountered an all too strong Caulfield Park Alma side and will have to strive again next year to join the 40 sides of Division 1. The seconds, however, achieved two glorious wins. The first and arguably more important was a 102-75 home semi-final victory against Auburn, securing promotion to Division 4. This also meant that they would compete in the section final the very next day. After such an important win it would have been all too easy for APBC 2 to sit back in satisfaction and miss out on winning the Section Pennant. In fact they fought hard against a very capable Moorabbin side who were up at the break. Our side remained resilient and prevailed in the end by 87-68 shots. We will now have a 2015/16 Section Pennant to add to the couple currently on display in the clubhouse.
This is a magnificent achievement by the club. Credit goes to all those who have played for the seconds at any point during this successful season. Credit also goes to Coach for the improved bowling performance of many players who are relatively new to bowling. Credit should also be given to the selectors who have wrestled weekly with the fraught challenges of selection to configure a side capable of success. Finally, but by no means least, thanks go to all those who came along to support - encouraging noise from spectators from all our other pennant sides was undoubtedly a strong factor in bringing about the Sunday win.
Now if all that sounds like a wrap for the season you'd be very mistaken. The seconds will go on to play in division finals starting with a quarter-final on March 12 against Laverton 1 at Yarraville-Footscray BC - it's just across the bridge so do come along and support. However, even before that, tomorrow, March 8, the Midweek Pennant seconds play their home semi-final against Armadale 4 with promotion to Division 2 at stake. It will be a tough match so enthusiastic support may well be the deciding factor again.