By Eric Markham
Last Saturday’s pennant saw all three Monbulk teams win and cement their places in this years’ finals.
Monbulk 1, who were in fourth place on the ladder, taking on Heathmont who were in third place. Monbulk needed to win to make sure of a finals place for this season with only one more home and away game to come.
Richard Cookson’s rink started in red hot form and after eight ends led by 18 shots.
They continued to bowl well picking up a number of multiples to win, 35 to 11.
Eric Markham’s rink fell behind early, but were only one shot down after seven ends. They then won eight of the next nine ends to lead by 11 shots with five ends to play.
The match then turned around with the Heathmont rink taking control to win the last five ends and take victory, 21 to 20.
Brian Smith’s rink began well and led by four shots after two ends.
They then dropped their guard and the opposition grabbed the initiative to be four shots in front after seven ends.
Scores were then level on the 10th end and after 18 ends only one shot separated the teams with the Heathmont rink just in front.
The last three ends were close with Heathmont winning each one with a single shot which gave them the win, 21 to 17.
Geoff Petersen’s rink started in a blaze of glory and led bye eight shots after three ends. However, they dropped six shots on the sixth end and scores were all tied.
The match was close up until the completion of the 14th end where the Monbulk rink was one shot down.
Things then changed dramatically with the Monbulk rink losing the last seven ends and going down by 32 to 16. The game finished in a nail biter with Monbulk just getting over the line by three shots, 88 to 85 which has ensured them a finals place for this season.
Monbulk 2, who were fourth on the ladder, played on the grass at Heathmont and also needed a win to give them a place in the finals.
Graeme Gollers rink was on the jack early and led by 14 shots after eight ends. The opposition mounted a comeback but the Monbulk rink were always in control winning 23 to 15.
Peter Donder’s rink found themselves behind early and were six shots down after seven ends. They then picked up 11 shots in three ends to take the lead by five shots. The game then tightened up with Heathmont taking control and with two ends to play they led by four shots.
The Monbulk rink rose to the challenge and picked up five shots including a four on the last end to take the honours by one shot, 22 to 21.
Eric Furby’s rink only won two of the first 10 ends and found themselves 13 shots behind.
They won the majority of ends in the second half of the game but couldn’t make up the leeway – losing 24 to 14.
John Prudon’s rink found themselves eight shots down after nine ends. They then won five of the next six ends to lead by two shots. They then held their nerve to get over the line by two shots, 22 to 20.
Monbulk secured victory by the narrowest of margins, one shot, 83 to 82 and are certain to participate in this years’ finals.
Monbulk 3 played in the semi-final against Mulgrave with the winning team getting a place in next weeks’ Grand Final.
Alan Brooke’s rink bowled well early and led by seven at the half way mark. The opposition made little ground into this lead with Bob Watson and Mike Dowling drawing close to the jack regularly to win 14 to 6.
Graham Mayo’s rink started slowly, but when they picked up four shots on the fourth end scores were tied. However, they lost five of the next seven ends to be nine shots down.
The Monbulk rink lifted winning the last three ends to go down 16 to 11. This gave Monbulk the overall, scoring 25 to 22, and won them a place in next weeks’ Grand Final.
On Tuesday Monbulk 1 played second placed Mitcham at home hoping to get some late wins to salvage something from the season.
Jim Bras’ rink had a close contest until they picked up seven shots on the seventh end to lead by six shots.
The opposition gradually reduced the lead and by the seventeenth end scores were level.
The Monbulk rink then lifted taking the last four ends to win 28 to 18.
Richard Cookson’s rink trailed by three shots after five ends, but were able to level the scores on the ninth end.
They then took control winning eight of the last 12 ends to win 22 to 15.
Eric Markham’s rink started well and were four shots in front after three ends.
Scores were then tied after five ends, but by the twelfth end the Monbulk rink led by six shots.
The Mitcham rink then won six of the next seven ends to be two shots in front with two ends to play. The Monbulk rink won the second last end and with some good bowling grabbed two shots on the last end to get over the line by one shot, 17 to 16.
Monbulk won the overall, 67 to 49, and this has given them some hope of staying in Division 1 for next season.
Monbulk 2, who were in fifth place, played the top side Lilydale away from home.
Eric Furby’s rink dropped a couple of large multiples early, but by the ninth end scores were level. They then won eight of the next 12 ends to win 27 to 21.
Alan Hamilton’s rink played well early and led by nine shots after the 14th end. They then dropped 13 shots in four ends to trail by four shots with three ends to play. However, they regrouped winning the last three ends to get home by just one shot, 24 to 23.
Graeme Goller’s rink struggled right from the start and never looked like winning the contest.
They gave away six lots of three shots which cost them on the scoreboard losing by 23 to 13.
Monbulk lost the overall 67 to 64 in what was a very good effort against the top side.
Monbulk 3 played against the Dandenong Club under the roof at Dandenong and had the misfortune of playing with less players due to a mishap that meant two players were late.
Graeme Seymour’s rink battled hard, but were no match for their opponents winning just seven ends and going down by 26 to 9.
Bruce Cockerill’s rink was 18 shots down after 13 ends, but won the second half of the contest to lose by 14 shots, 26 to 12.
Mike Harris’ rink started brilliantly and after four ends led by 11 shots.
Their opponents improved and by the 13th end they had moved within five shots.
The Monbulk rink stayed in front even though they lost the last three ends to record a good win, 20 to 17.
Monbulk 3 lost the overall 69 to 41.