Champion of State Pennant – Saturday
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