By Jack Rollings
The Bureau had threatened all sorts of storms for the day of the Saturday pennant.
But, at Monbulk, there was only a spot of light rain, a bit of isolated lightening, nothing much to take away from a good day for bowling.
Monbulk 1 travelled over to Lilydale to face-off in a battle to stay in the top four, with both sides going into this round having the same number of wins and losses. The playing surface was woven carpet, not too different from that at Monbulk. The day was set for close matches, but that’s not what happened. Lilydale took an early lead and continued to grow the margin on the composite board.
Jim Bras’ team won the first end and then dropped the next eight ends to trail by 10 shots. On the tenth end Jim’s team picked up a six shotter to reduce the margin and give a glimpse of hope. But, from then on they could win only two more ends, while the Lilydale crew consistently stacked on singles, doubles and a couple of 3s. Monbulk lost the rink 10 shots to 26.
Eric Markham’s team also had trouble getting hold of the mat, winning only five ends for the day. They picked up a four shotter late in the day, but Lilydale, skipped by the legendary John Snell, finished with five straight winning ends, to regain and grow their margin. Monbulk lost the rink 12 shots to 27.
Brian Smith’s team dropped a five shot clanger on the first end and struggled all day to claw that back. Going into the fifteenth end they had reduced the margin to a single shot, but Lilydale managed to reassert their dominance in the race to the finish. Monbulk lost the rink 16 shots to 25.
Richard Sanzin’s team won nine ends out of the twenty-one, but most of those wins were singles, whereas half the Lilydale wins were multiples. Towards the end of the day, Monbulk finished with some winning ends, to trail by five shots going into the final end. But Lilydale stamped their authority on the game with a three shot win on that last end. Monbulk lost the rink 14 shots to 22.
Overall Monbulk was defeated 52 shots to 100, with no rink wins and no ladder points. Monbulk has been tumbled out of the top four and is now sitting in sixth place, licking their wounds. Next week Monbulk will be hosting Upwey-Tecoma who sit in fourth place. A home win for Monbulk could result in a top four spot.
In a reverse situation Monbulk 2 played at home against Lilydale 4.
Marg O’Brien’s team had a close match all day with both sides claiming some big scores. With two ends to go, Monbulk trailed by five shots. Then they picked up a big five shotter to level, and on the final end they claimed a single to just get over the line. Monbulk won the rink 27 shots to 26.
Andy Smith’s team was slow to start and didn’t get on the scoreboard until the fifth end. In the back half they started to string a few good ends together and, by the sixteenth end, they took the lead. The last few ends seesawed but Monbulk managed to finish stronger and took the rink 19 shots to 17.
Norma Clerke’s team won nine ends but gave away a few multiples in the front half that made all the difference. Monbulk scored better in the back half but couldn’t bridge the gap and lost the rink 13 shots to 19.
Don Barnetson’s team won eleven ends, so it could have been close. But their wins included some strong multiples that pushed their score ahead quickly. They were able to maintain the pressure right to the finish and take the win 24 shots to 16.
Overall Monbulk 2 defeated Lilydale 4 by 83 shots to 78. Monbulk is now second on the ladder, only four ladder points behind the leaders, Cockatoo.
Monbulk 3 played away against Upwey-Tecoma 4. With both sides sitting around the middle of the ladder, it was always going to be a tight contest, with the home ground advantage coming into play.
Mike Harris’ team, coming off a strong win last week, was brought down to earth this week, giving up 8 shots before getting onto the scoreboard. Amongst the losses were four 3-shot clangers, which made it difficult to claw back. Monbulk lost the rink 16 shots to 22.
Graeme Godkin’s team had a brilliant front half and was 10 shots up going into the eighth end. Then they dropped seven ends in a row to give up the lead. With one end to go, they were just 3 shots down, but just couldn’t make up the difference. Monbulk lost the rink 19 shots to 23.
Allan Brooke’s team had a close match all day. They won more ends but gave away a couple of big scores. They led by a single shot going into the last end but Upwey-Tecoma managed to grab the end with 2 shots. Monbulk lost the rink 19 to 20.
Overall Monbulk lost 54 shots to 65. They are now clinging to fourth place on the ladder but will have the bye next week, with no chance to score points. In the second half of the season they will need to put a few wins together to earn a spot in the finals.