By Eric Markham
Monbulk 3 played Pakenham on Saturday 13 March in the Grand Final at the neutral venue of Churchill/Waverley on their grass green.
Alan Brooke’s rink started well and led by four shots after two ends.
The opposition then started to get more bowls in the head and took the lead after 10 ends by two shots. Alan Brooke then lifted his team and they won the next three ends to lead by three shots with two ends to play.
The Pakenham rink came hard winning the last two ends to force a tie 11 shots all.
Graham Mayo’s rink struggled early in the game and trailed by 10 shots at the half way mark of the game. They then won six of the next seven ends and with one end to play scores were all tied.
Monbulk’s lead Arda Verspeek put her bowl close to the jack and with some good team bowling by Bev Chancellor and Graham Mayo were able to hang on to the one shot which gave the rink the win, 14 to 13.
This highly improbable victory only minutes earlier had delivered the flag to Monbulk by the smallest margin one shot, 25 shots to 24.
Monbulk 1 travelled to Bayswater for the last home and away game – safe in the knowledge that they had cemented a finals berth the week before.
Rain was predicted and it certainly came shortening all games.
Richard Cookson’s rink grabbed 10 shots in two ends early in the game to lead by nine shots and were able to keep ahead of their opponents leading by seven shots when the game finished prematurely.
Brian Smith’s rink had a disastrous start to the game when they dropped six shots on the first end.
They played better in the latter part of the game but were 10 shots behind when play ended.
Eric Markham’s rink controlled the game early and led by seven shots after seven ends.
The game then tightened up and when play stopped the Monbulk rink was five shots in front.
Jim Bras’ rink struggled to get on the board early and were seven shots down after five ends.
They then won the next six ends to lead by four shots, but dropped six shots in the next three ends to trail by two shots when play ended.
The early end to play meant a full game was not completed and the match was a draw with Monbulk now looking forward to playing Ringwood in next weeks’ semi-final.
Monbulk 2 who were third on the ladder, played Warburton who were first at home in what turned out to be a rain affected game as well.
Graeme Goller’s rink had a close battle early, but dropped a four on the twelfth end to fall behind by three shots when no further play was possible.
Case Broekhof’s rink started well and led by four shots after eight ends. They then dropped six shots on the next end, but came back with a four two ends later to lead by one shot when play was halted.
Peter Donder’s rink were five shots down after seven ends, but then fought back to level the scores on the tenth end. When play stopped one end later they were two shots behind.
Eric Furby’s rink started slowly, but picked up a four on the sixth end to be two shots down. Their opponents then won five of the next six ends to lead by nine shots when play ended.
The match was officially a washout and these two teams will meet next Saturday in the semi-final at Warburton.
On Tuesday, Monbulk 1 played Ringwood away from home. Richard Cookson’s rink found themselves 10 shots behind after five ends.
They battled the game out to lose by 11 shots, 26 to 15.
Eric Markham’s rink dropped behind a few times during the game, but moved within three shots with three ends to play.
However, the opposition finished strongly to win by 12 shots, 28 to 16. Jim Bras’ rink was level after 10 ends, but faded in the second half to lose by 10 shots, 25 to 15. This gave Ringwood the overall by 32 shots, 79 to 47.
Monbulk 2 played Mooroolbark at home and needed to win to keep their finals hopes alive. Graeme Goller’s rink controlled the game from the start and led by 12 shots after 11 ends.
They stayed in front for the whole match, but dropped the last two ends to win by six shots, 20 to 14. Alan Hamilton’s rink bowled well throughout the game eventually winning 25 to 12.
Eric Furby’s rink had the close one with scores tied after 15 ends and with one end to play the Monbulk rink was one shot in front.
They managed to win the last end and record a two shot victory, 21 to 19.
Monbulk 2 won the overall by 21 shots, 66 to 45 and a win next week will ensure them of a place in the finals.
Monbulk 3 played Churchill/Waverley Golf at home.
Graeme Seymour’s rink held sway early and led by six shots after eight ends.
They then dropped 11 shots in the next three ends to trail by five shots.
They worked hard to reduce the deficit, but went down by three shots, 19 to 16.
Mike Harris’ rink led by one shot after four ends, but their opponents won 13 of the next 17 ends to take the game 30 to 13.
Bruce Cockerill’s rink fell behind by 17 shots after 12 ends. They won the back half of the game, but went down 25 to 11. M
Monbulk lost the overall by 34 shots, 74 to 40.