On Saturday, Monbulk Bowls Club’s number one side travelled to Croydon in a vital game, with Monbulk occupying third place on the ladder and Croydon in second place.
After some indecision from Croydon as to which green the game would be played on, they finally chose grass.
This did not unsettle Monbulk, who started well on three of the four rinks.
Brian Smith’s rink bowled well throughout the day and at one stage led by 19 shots and ended up winning by 14 shots, 28 to 14.
Richard Cookson’s had a close tussle up to the 15th end where only one shot separated the rinks.
However, they lost the last six ends and lost by 13 shots, 12 to 25.
Eric Markham’s rink had a poor start and after five ends found themselves 10 shots behind.
However, they rallied and at the tea break six ends later had hit the front by one shot.
They continued to bowl well, but dropped a four on the second last end to go down by two shots, 19 to 21.
Andrew Bell’s rink established a 14-shot lead by the 16th end, but dropped nine shots over the next three ends to be five shots in front with two ends to play.
There were some tense moments but Bell’s team got the job done, winning the last two ends and taking the rink by seven shots, 25 to 18.
This meant that Monbulk won by six shots overall, 84 to 78, and this put them hot on the heels of second-placed Croydon.
Monbulk 2 was third on the ladder heading into its match against Pakenham, placed seventh.
Eric Furby’s rink jumped out to a 16-shot lead by the eighth end, but the opposition lifted their game and his rink eventually won by seven shots, 23 to 16.
Peter Francis’ rink had a close battle for most of the game but was able to get away towards the end, winning 20 to 15.
Graeme Goller’s won 15 of the 21 ends and had a convincing win by 21 shots, 31 to 10.
The stars of the day were Case Broehof’s rink who were one shot down after four ends, but powered away to win by 23 shots, 37 to 14.
This gave the side a massive win by 66 shots, 111 to 55, and has put Monbulk into second place on the ladder.
Monbulk 3 was second on the ladder heading into its away match against fourth-placed Vermont South.
Peter Hiscox’s team started strongly, building up an eight-shot lead by the eighth end.
Then the momentum swung in Vermont’s favour and they just managed to hang on to draw, 19 shots all.
Allan Brooke’s team was behind for most of the day.
It then picked up a five on the 18th end to hit the front.
Vermont South levelled on the next end and then Monbulk grabbed two shots, going into the last end with the two-shot lead.
In spite of all of Monbulk’s efforts, the side lost three shots on the last end to go down by just one shot, 23 shots to 22.
So overall, Monbulk lost by just one shot, 41 to 42, and maintains second place.
On Tuesday was the top-of-the-table clash between Monbulk 1 and Warburton at Warburton.
Richard Cookson’s team was up 11 shots to nil on the fifth end and at that stage it looked like it was going to be a whitewash.
They were still ahead by the halfway mark but after that won only four ends for the rest of the match, losing the rink by eight shots, 17 to 25.
Eric Markham’s team had a close struggle all day.
At the halfway mark, Warburton got out to a five-shot lead.
Then the very next end, Monbulk picked up a five to level the score.
The lead then see-sawed a few times.
Warburton grabbed a couple of lucky conversions and was able to hang on to win by two shots, 17 to 19.
Andrew Bell’s team led all day and got out to a nine-shot lead by the eighth end.
Then Warburton won the mat and was able to reduce the margin to four shots.
However, the side rallied and won by six shots, 19 to 13.
Overall Monbulk lost 53 shots to 57, but is still a game clear in top spot on the ladder.
Third-placed Monbulk 2 played at home against Heatherdale, in seventh place.
Graeme Goller’s team struggled, only picking up six ends for the day and dropping a few multiples.
They won a couple of multiples on the 13th and 14th ends to get within two shots, but that was as close as they got.
Heatherdale won the next six ends and ran away with the game by 12 shots, 25 to 13.
Eric Furby had the close one, with the scores being level four times during the match, including the second-last end, which put immense pressure on that final end.
They were then able to pick up a single shot and that was enough to win the game 19 shots to 18.
Peter Francis’ team was in front all day.
They led by 10 shots at the halfway mark and just blew it out further in the back half, and topped it off with an emphatic five on the last end, finishing with a 31 shots to 13 win.
Overall, Monbulk won 63 shots to 56, enabling the team to maintain third place on the ladder.
Monbulk 3 was in second place on the ladder when it played away to last-placed Vermont South.
Barry Adshead’s team, with Craig Ward leading, Greg Meyers second and John Prudon third, started slowly and was one shot to four down on the fourth end.
They levelled on the fifth end and then it was “close the gates” because they won all but three of the next 16 ends, including a huge seven on the 13th end and a four on the last end.
They finished with a massive win, 36 shots to 10.
Mike Harris’ team led all day, giving up only seven ends for the game and won by 11 shots, 23 to 12. Don Barnetson’s team also dropped only seven ends for the day and was well in front by the halfway mark.
There was a bit of a scare on the 14th when they dropped a five, but the team regrouped and went on to a good win, 28 shots to 14.
Overall Monbulk won by 51 shots, 87 to 36, and this maintained their second position on the ladder.
Night Owls bowls is in full swing on Thursday nights.
The bowls starts at 7.30 pm, with casual dress and flat soled shoes recommended.
Bowls can be provided and single players or teams can be accommodated.
Call the club on 9756 6183 to play, sign up in the foyer at Monbulk Bowls Club or just arrive at 7.15pm ready for action.