Finals galore for Bentleigh and Strathmore
Melbourne Metro Pennant clubs Strathmore and Bentleigh aren’t big clubs, but both have punched well above their weight this season.
Strathmore have managed to get all 10 of their Pennant teams into finals. At Bentleigh nine out of 10 teams will be vying for Pennant flags after making finals.
Both are justly proud of their achievements. Here are their stories of what have been remarkable 2017-18 Pennant seasons:
Strathmore Bowls Club
Strathmore has been undergoing some significant demographic change in its membership, and it appears to be translating into on-green success.
The club in Melbourne’s northern suburbs has qualified all 10 of its teams into Pennant finals. It has six Saturday teams (Divisions 2, 4, 5, 7 and two 12-a-side teams), three Midweek teams, and a Night Pennant team competing for flags.
“What’s happening is the whole atmosphere around the club in the past three or four weeks has just changed,” Strathmore chairperson Paul Dillon says.
“Last Saturday (the last day of home-and-away matches) when we did our wrap-up, we had 100 people back at the club which we don’t normally have.
“People are around the club a lot more, there’s a lot more excitement – nothing we’ve ever experienced as a club before.”
Three years ago, Strathmore started to attract more new members who were a lot younger than the previous demographic.
Ahead of this year, Strathmore attracted more than 30 new members – some of whom have graduated to the club’s top team.
Bentleigh Bowling Club
Steve Brady, Bentleigh Bowling Club’s vice-president writes:
Our sides this year and final ladder positions are:
Division 2, Section 7
Division 3, Section 7
Division 4, Section 7
Division 6, Section 8
Division 7, Section 6
Equal 2ndplace on points, but pipped on %. This side was brand new this season.
Midweek (Tuesday) Pennant
Division 3, Section 7
Division 4, Section 8
SDELBA Pennant (Tuesday Night)*
* NOTE: One round left to play in SDELBA on Tuesday night
A bit about us…
Bentleigh BC is a small to mid-size Club with just over 100 competition bowlers on the list. We are run almost exclusively by volunteers, with the obvious exception being our excellent greenkeeper.
As a Club, we can be a little mischievous and definitely enjoy socialising together.
Thursday afternoon is our main practice session, and the majority of players participate. The sessions are a mix of drills for each role introduced by our senior coach plus some “grudge” / social matches where a gallery usually forms to observe. Practice is followed by some socialising which can go well into the night!
On Tuesday and Saturday, we definitely like to win. We also see most of the away side players return to the Club to see how other sides and their friends went. The post-game socialising can also go on for a while, and the Bentleigh BC uniform has been seen to inundate some local restaurants at dinner time on Saturdays.
We’re very fortunate to be growing at a good, not too quick pace. We had a number of experienced players join for the start of the season who have been welcomed by members and have settled in very nicely into one of the top three sides.
We definitely aspire to be a genuinely competitive Division 1 Club, and the team is united to achieve that goal, and we will do it our way.
Ahhh Selectors. We love to hate them at most Bowls Clubs, but I think our selection team have done a wonderful job this year – not that we’d say that to their faces!
We are proud to be a competitive bowls Club, where members also genuinely enjoy each other’s social company and I think this year’s home and away results show that. Now, let’s get a new flag or more.
What about your club?
Has your club done something great in Pennant this season like Strathmore and Bentleigh? We want to know about it.
Heads Up will feature great Pennant performances and pictures from flag winners from around the State in our State of Pennant articles.
Send us pictures of your flag winners, Pennant champs or sectional champs to email@example.com , plus some information on their story on how they’ve won their flag or what they’ve done this season, and your club.
iPhone and IPad pictures are fine – just send them in the biggest size possible!
To give you an idea of what we’re planning, click here for a look at last year’s State of Pennant articles, including links to news articles from around the State on Pennant winners and pictures of flag winners.