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.
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 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.
On Saturday, APBC 1 became the third side to secure a pennant finals place with a comfortable win over Melbourne 3. Three sides in their section finished with 11 wins and 1 draw but an inferior points tally means that our side face Caulfield Park Alma 1 at their green in the semi-final on March 5. APBC 1 will need to win both that semi-final and the final, to be held on March 6 at Elsternwick Club, in order to gain promotion to division 1 and win the Section Pennant. Meanwhile, after much drama, APBC 2 has secured a home semi-final, which will be against Auburn. Should they win that, they will have secured promotion and go on to compete for the Section Pennant in the final, which will be held at Richmond Union. We wish both these Saturday Pennant sides the very best of bowling during finals weekend.
Our Saturday Pennant 2nd Side have now matched their Midweek Pennant counterparts in securing a finals spot. On Highett’s new high quality TifDwarf green our side, weakened by trickle-down absences, encountered stiff opposition, losing two rinks and drawing a third. Nevertheless the losses were kept moderate and thanks to a fine win by our fourth rink an important overall win was secured. APBC 2 cannot now be caught by the club sitting 5th and have therefore secured a finals place. In addition, our main rivals for 2nd spot lost and dropped 14 points this week. Consequently an 18 point home win next week would see APBC 2 very well placed to secure a home green semi-final.
Congratulations to our Midweek Pennant Second Side who, following a fine win on Sandringham’s ultra-fast synthetic green, have now secured a place in the post-sectional finals. The clubs sitting in 4th and 5th places play each other in the last round and so cannot, mathematically, both overhaul our side. Ironically we would have preferred both those clubs to win this week to assist our bid for a home ground semi-final – that will now likely be determined by our last match, an away game against strong rivals Hampton Park.
Meanwhile two of our Saturday Pennant teams are close to securing a finals place. The Firsts will take a huge step toward this if they defeat fellow contenders Middle Park on their green this Saturday. The Seconds are even better placed and will secure a finals place with a 12 point win or better this weekend. Of course they will be aiming for 18 points to help secure a home ground semi-final despite their main rivals each having a game in hand.
Midweek pennant teams enjoyed a winning end to 2015 with all three sides victorious on December 15. The firsts achieved a creditable 16pt win at home against fifth placed Armadale 3. This leaves us 26pts clear of relegation but with good results required to stay safe during the remaining 7 rounds. The seconds achieved a solid 14pt win away against struggling Elsternwick Park 2. Rivals Middle Park 2 slipped up at home so this result leaves us nicely in second place still just 2pts behind Armadale 4. Finally the thirds pulled off a close 14pt win away against Caulfield Park Alma 5 despite being a player short in one rink. This leaves us in fifth place with a finals place still within reach. In all it was a final 2015 midweek pennant round with much to celebrate.
Congratulations to the twelve of APBC’s finest who traveled the short distance to Port Melbourne on Sunday and successfully defended the Port Phillip Shield. This Shield is annually contested between the neighbouring clubs of Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park and Saint Kilda. This year due to green restrictions each side was limited to just three rinks. AP started off well, defeating St Kilda by 2 rinks to 1 and +4 shots overall. After breaking for a hearty lunch the second match saw AP defeat Middle Pk, again by 2 rinks to 1 and a few shots up overall. Our final match was against Port Melbourne who also seemed to have won both their matches although rink and shot details were hard to come by. This led to much speculation about what was needed to get past the winning post. However AP again did well and won by shots up overall, although they did narrowly lose 2 of the 3 rinks. Presumably the organizers would know what this meant in determining the overall winner. After some deliberation it was announced that both APBC and Port Melbourne had finished on the same number of points and so the result would be determined by total shots up of which APBC had +15 while Port Melbourne had just +2! So the Shield was retained by Albert Park. Well done!