Sad results for Monbulk Bowling club

2024 Club Champions Tony French and Anne Ward. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Jack Rollings

Saturday Pennant. Cool, cloudy, a slight breeze, perfect for bowling.

Two Monbulk sides played in Section Grand Finals, and they had all the intensity, hopes and heartbreaks of grand finals in any sport.

A whole different ball game from the home and away games.

Monbulk 2 played at Heathmont against Cockatoo.

Monbulk had won the preliminary final in convincing fashion just six days earlier, so the Monbulk bowlers knew they were in with a chance, even though Cockatoo had got the better of them at their last meeting.

Graeme Goller’s team led all day and won their rink 20 shots to 15.

Case Broekhof’s team stayed in touch for most of the day but dropped three crucial 3s that made the difference. Monbulk lost the rink 13 shots to 21.

Don Barnetson’s team started strongly and led 7 shots to 1 going into the sixth end.

After that Cockatoo put the pressure on and Monbulk could only pick up three more ends for the day, for minor scores.

By the halfway mark Cockatoo had hit the front and then they stormed home.

Monbulk lost the rink 11 shots to 25.

Andy Smith’s team won thirteen ends to eight. But a couple of their losses were 3s and that made for a very close finish. Monbulk managed to hold on and win the rink 18 shots to 15.

Overall Monbulk lost the Section Grand Final 62 shots to 76.

That’s the end of their season but, after they lick their wounds from this weekend, they should be able to reflect positively on their encouraging performance.

And the side will be rewarded with a promotion to Division 5 next season.

Monbulk 3 travelled to Upwey-Tecoma to play against Healesville in the Section Grand Final of the 12-a-side competition.

Only a few days earlier they had beaten Healesville convincingly in the semi-final. But that was on Monbulk’s home ground.

This time they were playing on a new synthetic surface that was a lot slower than Monbulk’s.

Early in the day, the Monbulk bowlers were often pulling up short of the head, leaving a wall of bowls that the skips had to negotiate.

In spite of that, at the halfway mark, Monbulk was in front by 5 shots and ready to fight on.

Chris Sullivan’s team was in front at halfway, but Healesville grabbed a couple of big multiples in the run home.

Monbulk eventually lost the rink 18 shots to 22.

Mike Harris’ team had a very strong front half, and even going into the fourteenth end, they were leading by 10 shots. Then Healesville put on a run of six winning ends, to gobble up the margin and get their noses in front. Monbulk was able to steady and take the final two ends to win the rink 18 shots to 16.

Graeme Godkin’s team won more ends, but they also dropped three 5s, a 4 and a 3, which meant Healesville was able to stay in front for most of the day and Monbulk lost the rink 16 shots to 30.

Overall Monbulk lost the Section Grand Final 52 shots to 68.

There were some encouraging individual and team performances throughout the season and there will be a lot to look forward to next season, especially if Monbulk can attract a few new players and push their way into the 16-a-side competition.

The finals of the Monbulk Singles Club Championships were held on Friday.

There were quite a few spectators to watch the evening games in perfect autumn conditions.

In the men’s event Brian Smith competed against Tony French.

There were no previous club singles titles for either man but, both men play as skips in the Monbulk top side, and they each brought a lot of game play experience to the event.

Scores were close early on, then Tony was able to put a few ends together and claim the last crucial shots to take the title.

In the women’s event Anne Ward was competing in her first singles final.

She was up against Jenny Holmes who has won the title several times.

It was a case of handing over the baton.

Even though most of the game was very close, and with scores level on 19 shots all, Anne was able to grab a couple of multiples right at the end to take a convincing win.

There will surely be more wins to follow.