2017-18 State of Pennant 1
Victoria is the state of Pennant. It’s our competition format of the game in Victoria, and the rivalries within Pennant competitions right around the State are as tribal as any sporting rivalry around.
Pennant champions have been, or are being, crowned right around the State for season 2017-18.
Here are some of your Pennant stories, plus a gallery of pictures of many of those featured.
City of Frankston
Win a flag, and you form a special bond with the players you do it with. But City of Frankston players Gary Lacey and Paul Lambert share a more remarkable bond than most based on Pennant success.
The City of Frankston duo won their fourth final in a row together as part of the club’s Division 7 team in Mornington Peninsula Pennant – this year beating Somerville by 28 shots.
Lacey and Lambert have played different positions within the team over the journey, and this added to the celebrations.
City of Frankston also won their Division 6 Saturday Pennant final over Somerville, and the Division 2 Midweek Pennant grand final – beating Belvedere – to cap off a great year for the club.
The amazing record of Warrnambool Bowls Club’s Warrnambool Gold team continued this season, with the team making its 25th grand final in a row in Western District Bowls Division.
Warrnambool Gold won their preliminary final by one shot to make the grand final. Of the 24 Grand Finals played so far, they have won 17, winning the last five in a row.
The current team of 16 has only five players who have played in all five Pennant wins.
This is probably the biggest turnaround of a club’s on-green performance of any club in the State for 2017-18.
Last season, Kangaroo Flat, which competes in the Bendigo Bowls Division Pennant, didn’t get one team in the finals.
This season, Kangaroo Flat had nine out of a possible 10 teams reach the finals.
Of the nine teams that competed in the finals, five of them have reached the Grand Finals – two Midweek and three Saturday teams.
Match committee chairman Wally Boyd explains: “After last season, the club realised that we had to do something to avoid a repeat performance and so appointed Midweek and Saturday Pennant Coaches.
“Susan Howes and Cam Wilson were convinced to leave their former clubs Bendigo East and Essendon respectively to fill the positions and it was hoped that the success that they had previously enjoyed would transfer to our teams.
“At this stage we could probably say our hopes have been realised. It is often said that winning isn’t everything but it sure beats the losing mood that prevailed in the clubhouse after our Pennant efforts last season.
“To say that the club has turned itself around, both on the greens and in the clubhouse would be an understatement.”
Dromana are off to the Champion of State Pennant Midweek Competition in Moama, after their midweek side were crowned Peninsula Casey Divisional Champions.
This team was operating under restricted rules with a maximum of four men in their side playing as Leads or Seconds, and overcame an open unrestricted Mt Eliza to win.
Hoppers – Our season story
Hoppers Bowls Club is a mid-size club run by great volunteers and our excellent Greenkeeper. An ordinary club in the ‘burbs. Our area is ethnically diverse, in one of the fastest growing areas of Melbourne. Where houses are still affordable.
We’ve had some experienced players join us in the last few years, which has boosted our existing teams. It’s made us aspire to be a Division 1 Club. And to that end, plans were made.
A good team needs a good green. We made the decision to upgrade our Bent green to Tifdwarf. In establishing the green we twice suffered monumental natural events that washed the planting away coupled with an eccentric watering system that wouldn’t do its job. This meant hand watering.
A “beyond the call of duty” effort by our Greenkeeper and club members established the green by sheer persistence.
But this year, top dressed and and laser levelled, we have the green of dreams. We now get compliments from visiting teams. Something that hasn’t happened in a long time. Goal one achieved.
Next we had to stop our top side yo-yoing between Division 3 and Division 2, and to stabilise and strengthen our other teams. Newly promoted to Division 2 we were determined to stay there.
We revamped our selection process radically. An excellent feedback system and better communication helped the selectors cope with their task.
They did a sterling job. Our top side has not only maintained its place, they are in finals. Three out of five of our Saturday Pennant teams in finals and our newly formed 6-a-side Midweek Pennant team too. Goal 2 more than achieved.
Bowls Victoria are advertising our new goal, the appointment of a Coach. This will empower our teams for that final push to Division 1.
We still have our challenges e.g. how to attract younger players especially women. No different to most clubs.
Although these achievements don’t compare with qualifying all your teams for finals, for the Hoppers Club, it’s a great step forward surpassing our plans.
With the advent of a new social gathering space at our club, we are going from strength to strength and the future looks bright.
Stawell Bowls Club, in the Grampians Division, has had great success this Pennant season with three flags out of a possible four.
Midweek Pennant was the first win, with a 19-shot victory over our neighbour Club Stawell Golf.
Saturday Pennant in Division One saw Stawell go straight into the grand final but were defeated by Chalambar.
Division Two saw both Stawell teams Gold and Blue play off with Gold being the victors on the day.
Stawell’s Ellen Werry says: “We are a small club with loyal members and we’re thrilled to get three of the four possible Pennant flags. We are thrilled to have had such a successful season.”
Chiltern – The mouse that roared
Chiltern Bowling Club has a long history back to its foundation in 1907. But this season the club of 45 members wrote a new chapter in this history by winning the Ovens & Murray Division A2 Pennant grand-final against Mansfield at Benalla Bowls Club 105-84.
This is the first win by the club in this division and leads to their promotion to the A1 Division for the first time.
The club has had a stellar season, being top of the ladder for the entire season and playing consistent bowls in the two finals to beat Mansfield by 21 shots each time.
Side Captain Neil Pryor said: “The focus of the club was for every player to prepare well, do their job and work as a team. The amount of high-quality training leading up to and throughout the finals put the team in good stead to play to our ability.”
After a sound 2016-17 season ended in a first round finals exit, the club returned in 2017-18 with a renewed determination and focus to improve to the required standard.
“We are excited about what we achieved as a team and look forward to taking the next step into the top division next year, to extend ourselves even further” Neil said.
“Our green is one of the best in the region and this gives us a good base to further grow our club and attract bowlers who want to play at the highest level, as well as developing our depth with the bowlers we have coming through our Division B3 team, who also made the preliminary final this year.”
The win was the proudest moment in the 111 years of the Chiltern Bowling Club. The town has a legend about a golden mouse from the gold rush days, but this bowls victory was surely a case of the little mouse that roared.
The 2017-18 Pennant season has proved an outstanding one for Morwell Club BC, a small rural club of only 63 members.
All five of its Pennant teams qualified for finals. In the Saturday Comp the club had divisions 1, 5 & 6 and in the Midweek Comp divisions 2 & 3.
Whilst this is quite an achievement and a record for the club, Morwell Club then went on to secure four Premiership Flags.
With Saturday divisions 5 & 6 successful, then the following Tuesday in the Midweek Comp divisions 2 & 3 also became Premiers, capping off a stellar year for the club.
Highton – Our season story
Highton Bowls Club participates in the Geelong Bowls Region Pennant competition. We are a typical bowls club (volunteers, not for profit, community based club – no gaming machines).
Our club consists of a total membership of approximately 450 members (which includes 250 bowling members plus 150 social members, plus approximately 50 other members of assorted membership categories).
Highton BC has a strong reliance on the goodwill of our many volunteer members to keep the club functioning smoothly.
We are a competitive club, a well managed club, a proud club, and we strive to be a progressive, friendly and harmonious club.
We have a strong bowling and training culture and we also enjoy an active social program with many great entertainment nights.
We are particularly pleased with the performance of our pennant teams in this 2017-18 Pennant season for achieving the following results:
Saturday Pennant: We entered 7 Divisions in the 2017-2018 GBR Sat. Pennant competition and all seven Divisions secured a top four finish thus qualifying for the GBR finals series, results being: Div. 1 Highton 1 = finished 1st on the final ladder, Div. 1 Highton 2 = finished 4th on the final ladder, Div. 3 Highton 3 = finished 4th on final ladder, Div. 5 Highton 4 = finished 3rd on final ladder, Div. 8 Highton 5 = finished 1st on final ladder, Div. 9 Highton 6 = finished 1st on final ladder, Div.11 Highton 7 = finished 2nd on the final ladder. A strong outcome
Midweek Pennant: The Highton BC had 5 Divisions entered in the 2017-2018 GBR Mid-week Pennant season – our most successful Division was the Div. 1 Mid-Week team (Highton 1) – which finished 4th on the 2017-18 final ladder. We are particularly pleased with that because it’s the sixth consecutive year that our Midweek Div. 1 (Highton 1) team has achieved an end of season top 4 finish thus qualifying for the GBR Div. 1 Midweek finals for the sixth consecutive year.
Highton BC Managing Director Mr John Jackson said: “I am delighted with the results of our Pennant teams this year, all seven Saturday Divisions have worked hard and have now been rewarded with a position in the finals and the Midweek team has once again managed to carry over its good form from one year into the following year. It’s a credit to the club, the coaches, and the bowlers.”
Over the season more than 25 players had competed for Stratford in the Division 2 Saturday Pennant team in North Gippsland Division.
With two rounds to go the team was in fourth place. By winning the two remaining games, the team moved into second place and faced ladder leader Sale in the semi-final. Losing by eight shots, the team had to beat Rosedale the following Saturday in the preliminary final for the right to play Sale in the grand final. Stratford won by one shot with the last bowl of the day.
Maffra green was the venue for grand finals in North Gippsland, and Stratford were leading by 14 shots when heavy rain and a thunderstorm stopped play for more than an hour. When play resumed Stratford held their advantage and went on win by 13 shots. Local Gippsland legend Ron (Curly) Kerr, now aged 91, recovered from injury in time to take his place in the grand final.
Congratulations to Premiers in North Gippsland 2017–18 Division 2 – Stratford
The following week a match was played at Bairnsdale to determine the winning team from Region 16. Once again Stratford was victorious winning convincingly by 20 shots. A great effort by all team members.
Division 2 Team Members: Lucy Dalli, Curly Kerr, Alan Boyd, Andy Bye, John Marshall, Terry Robbins, Alan Beechey, Col Russell, Gordon Keddie, Ian Tait, Des Phillips, John Spencer.
The Ballarat District Bowls Division Midweek Pennant Grand Final was won by Central Wendouree over City Oval.
With all three rinks up they finished 40 shots up to take the premiership.
This was the fourth year in a row that these two clubs have met in the Grand Final with Central Wendouree being the victors in the last three.
This is a remarkable achievement for Central Wendouree as their Division 1 Midweek Pennant team have featured in the last 11 grand finals, winning seven. A great record.
During the regular rounds City Oval was beaten just twice – not by Central Wendouree – and accumulated 42 more points than any other team in the competition. There was one time during the season that Central Wendouree could have slipped out of the four and had to really fight hard to get the points up.
Deer Park can be justly proud of their achievement of making the top four and a preliminary final in their first season in Taylor Bowls Saturday Premier Division.
In the preliminary final between Altona and Deer Park in blustery wind conditions, Altona jumped to the lead early with the Peck and Foley rinks handling the conditions well. Deer Park’s Doody rink had a good lead as did Ball’s rink.
But Altona’s consistency kept them in front for most of the day.The Parkers hit the front at one stage but dropped numbers accross the board.
The last few ends were great to watch with Altona holding a 10 shot lead with three ends to go, the Mahoney rink which struggled all day picked up three valuable shots after Garry Ball’s rink got four.
As it turned out scores were level with one end left between Ball’s and Dane McKinnon’s rink which saw the jack moved a couple of times.
After a great upshot by Andrew Myers, Deer Park held game but state rep McKinnon drew the winner. The result was Altona home by one shot.
Altona go into the grand final at the Deer Park state of the art Bowls Dome against reigning premiers Melbourne.
Deer Park after being promoted to Premier bowls last year can hold their heads high for making the preliminary final in their first year.