Champion of State Pennant – Saturday

by Team BV

The Champion of State Pennant trophy is back on the calendar, and back in the possession of serial winners Melbourne Bowling Club.
The Demons capped off an amazing 2016-17 season, following up their Taylor Bowls Premier Division flag win with the State Pennant Championship for Saturday Pennant.
The Dees’ 61-30 defeat of Gippsland champions Bairnsdale gave them a fourth Champion of State Pennant title – and the honour of winning the first of Champion of State Pennant 2.0.
With Moama Bowling Club taking up the hosting rights and providing a generous sponsorship to revive the event not run since 2014, this year’s version didn’t disappoint.
Both Melbourne and Bairnsdale topped their sections to meet in the final – both undefeated in their five round-robin matches to get there.
But the Demons were hot from the get-go – skip Shane Fordham’s rink of Robbie Briglia, Lachie Sims and Australian Indoor Championship runner-up Curtis Hanley scintillating early.
As teammates Ben Fearn and Michael Sims’ fours arm-wrestled with Gippsland’s Owen McBreen and Trevor Melotte, Fordham’s four raced to a 17-1 lead over Geoff Aitken’s rink to give Melbourne a big early margin.
Eventually Fearn’s rink got on top of McBreen to stretch the Dees’ lead further. But Melotte’s four took it to Sims – the Melbourne team winning on the last bowl by a shot 17-16.
Both Fearn and Fordham ran out 22-7 winners on their rinks.
Bairnsdale can console themselves that they had dominated their Section B in the lead-up to the final, booking their place in the final by the end of Day 2 after four section wins – including a defeat of previously unbeaten Wunghnu (Central Goulburn Murray region) which was pivotal in locking up their section.
Hastings (Peninsula Casey region) finished second in that section with a 3-1-1 win-loss-draw record.
Melbourne also won their five Section A matches, but had to work hard in the section dubbed the Group of Death and only secured their final berth with a win over Inverloch in the last match. 
Queenscliff finished second in that group with a 13-shot win over Warrnambool lifting the Geelong region side ahead of the West Coast club with a 4-1 win-loss record.

Result, grand final
Fixtures, Section A

Results, Section A
Ladder, Section A
Fixtures, Section B
Results, Section B
Ladder, Section B