Monbulk bowlers back on track

Craig Ward puts down one of the last bowls of the day to help his rink to a win. Picture: SUPPLIED

Jenny Holmes

The disruptions to the bowling season have been similar to other sports, but Monbulk bowlers are starting to get back on track now.

Monbulk Bowling Club’s Tuesday pennant saw all Monbulk sides take on Berwick at home in perfect conditions.

Monbulk 1

Monbulk 1 struggled against some good bowling from their opponents and went down 78 to 56.

Richard Cookson’s team had a fluctuating game and were six shots down after six ends. They then moved within one shot three ends later.

However, they then dropped a number of multiples and lost 26 to 18.

Ivan Baric’s rink led by two shots after six ends. They then lost 13 of the last 15 ends to go down 36 to 14.

Eric Markham’s rink began well and led by six shots after two ends. They then lost five of the next six ends, to trail by four shots after eight ends. The team then lifted its game to win 10 of the next 13 ends to win convincingly 24 to 16.

Monbulk 2 had some close matches with Berwick and were able to claim victory with a good win on Alan Hamilton’s rink.

They were eight shots in front after nine ends and kept the pressure on the opposition by dropping no more than one shot on any end to win 22 to 8.

Graeme Goller’s rink was down by eight shots with four ends to play and they stormed home to go down by just one shot, 17 to 16.

Mike Harris’ team had a close contest right through the game with only a few shots separating both teams. They eventually went down by two shots, 18 to 16. This gave Monbulk 2 overall victory, 54 to 43.

This Saturday was also the first pennant round of the Saturday pennant season.

Monbulk 1

Monbulk 1 travelled down to Ferntree Gully. Still in the Covid restrictions, bowlers couldn’t use the clubroom and played right through without a break.

There was social distancing and no shaking hands or handling other bowls, but at least bowlers didn’t have to wear masks outside.

The games were played on their woven carpet, which looks the same as the Monbulk top green and runs just as fast and wide – sometimes.

But, the changing wind proved to be a challenge. Overall Monbulk won on three rinks but the combined score was not enough to beat Ferntree Gully. On the aggregate board Monbulk lost 82 to 78.

Brian Smith’s team had a close game with the lead changing several times.

Ferntree Gully had a good run in the second half, picking up five ends in a row to put them eight shots in front, when Monbulk picked up a five shotter.

Going into the last end, Monbulk was down 19 to 17. That’s when they picked up a three to win the rink 20 shots to 19.

Richard Cookson’s team had the closest game.

They were five shots all on the fourth end, 10 shots all on seventh end, 19 shots all on 14 th end, 21 shots all on 18 th end and 23 shots all going into final end where Monbulk picked up one.

Throughout the game Monbulk dropped a four, five and seven. It also picked up a four and three three’s, a five and a seven. Monbulk won 12 ends and lost nine.

At one stage Monbulk got out to a five shot lead then dropped the painful seven shotter. The next end they came straight back with three shots, winning the rink 24 to 23.

Geoff Petersen’s team also won 12 ends and lost nine. They dropped a four-shotter on the second end but won a few early singles to stay close.

Then, on the eighth end, Monbulk took over the lead with a 3-shotter and did the same on the following end. From there, Monbulk stayed in front for rest of match and won the rink 18 shots to 14.

Ivan Baric’s team struggled in the changing wind conditions, taking some time to find the right length.

Going into the fifth end, Monbulk was nine shots down and not on the board.

In the middle of the game Monbulk switched to long ends and had a run of winning ends to get within four shots of the lead. Ferntree Gully won the mat and went back to shorter lengths.

Overall, Monbulk won 11 ends and lost 10, but the losses included a three, four, five and a seven. That was way too many clangers, while the winning multiples included just two three’s.

Monbulk was six shots down with two ends to go and well within the contest when they dropped the 7 shot clanger – ouch.

Technically, you could say that the wind had its wicked way with the Monbulk bowls. On the last end Monbulk rallied to pick up three shots but not enough to prevent the loss 26 to 16.

Monbulk 2

Monbulk 2 played at home against Ferntree Gully. The Monbulk 2 side was undefeated last season and has gone up a division. The pressure is on now to maintain the good record.

Ferntree Gully played two of their teams with a player short. That definitely gave Monbulk an advantage – but they still had to make use of that advantage – there are no gimmees in bowls.

Eric Furby’s team struggled in this first match back. With two ends to go they were seven shots down. Then they won a four and then a 1 – a good rally but not enough to avoid the close rink loss 22 to 20. Overall, Monbulk won nine ends and dropped twelve.

Graeme Goller’s team was the standout performer.

It was a close start with eight shots all on ninth end. But, after that Ferntree Gully only won three singles – Monbulk won 14, with three three’s and two four’s. Monbulk won the rink 31 shots to 11.

Monbulk’s team was: Ron Sheppard as Lead, Don Barnetson as Second, Jim Anderson as Third and Graeme Goller as Skip.

Norma Clerke’s team had a tight battle in the front half. They were five shots all going into the seventh end, eight shots all on the11 th end and nine shots all on the 13 th end. Ferntree Gully gained control and won the back half, with Monbulk losing 18 shots to 12.

Case Broekhof’s team was three shots all going into sixth end but then picked up a strong four-shotter.

After that, Monbulk stayed in front, grew the lead, picked up a five, a four and two three’s. Monbulk did drop eight ends on this rink but only one three shot clanger, finishing strongly 30 shots to 14.

Monbulk 3

Monbulk 3 played at home against Donvale in the new-look six-a-side competition. This Spring competition has each side comprising two teams of three bowlers, each with two bowls. The game is shorter this year, just fifteen ends, starting at 10 am and finishing by 1pm.

Allan Brooke’s team dropped more ends than Donvale but picked up some crucial multiples. Monbulk won the rink 18 to 13.

Doug Elliott’s team didn’t drop anything more than a two and also won nine of the 15 ends. Overall, Monbulk won the rink 20 shots to 10.