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.
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.
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.