By Eric Markham
The first round after the Christmas break put finals contenders, fourth placed Monbulk 1 against fifth placed Caulfield Park.
Richard Cookson’s rink began brilliantly and led by 10 shots after two ends. However, they lost 4 of the next 5 ends to only lead by one shot after 7 ends. The rink then steadied and grabbed a 6 on the twelfth end to win by 12 shots, 30 to 18.
Eric Markham’s rink started poorly and after 5 ends were eleven shots behind. They struggled to recover and went down by 17 shots, 10 to 27. Andrew Bell’s rink had a close battle early but then dominated the ends 14 to 7 to eventually win by 12 shots, 23 to 11.
Monbulk won the overall by 7 shots and have opened up a gap of 18 points for fourth place in the race to the finals. Monbulk 2 played Ferntree Gully at home and found their opponents to be a tough task.
Eric Furby’s rink started slowly and were 9 shots down after 4 ends. They then managed to get on the board, but were out bowled to lose by 16 shots, 11 to 27. Di Bigelow’s rink had a topsy turvy game which had them 7 shots in front after fourteen ends.
They then dropped 14 shots over the next 3 ends to trail by 7 shots. Bigelow’s team rallied, but went down by 2 shots, 21 to 23.
Graeme Gollers rink struck trouble in the first half of their game and was 21 shots behind after 11 ends having conceded an 8. They won the back half of the game comfortably but still went down by 12 shots, 20 to 32 which meant that overall the team lost by 30 shots, 52 to 82.
Saturday pennant saw Monbulk 1 play Croydon in a top of the ladder clash away from home. Croydon grabbed the initiative early on the overall board and the longer the game went the larger the margin became.
Brian Smith’s rink didn’t score until the fifth end but they did it with a bang picking up a six. However, they only won 7 ends for the day and went down by 17 shots, 14 to 34. Andrew Bell’s rink never got into the game and lost by 29 shots, 7 to 36.
Richard Cookson’s rink began well and led by 6 shots after 3 ends. The opposition then took control after the break winning by 10 shots, 16 to 26. Eric Markham’s rink was able to stay in touch for most of the game with Karen Rice bowling well. However, they dropped some crucial ends to lose by 7 shots, 13 to 20.