Pennant Match Reports 2017-18

PAKENHAM BOWLS CLUB – FINALS – 2017/2018 SEASON

The final rounds of the home and away season were played last week with five of the nine Pakenham sides finishing in the top four in their sections and earning a berth in the finals. Two other teams only just missed out.

SATURDAY

Pakenham Three (Div 4) had the shortest of away trips for their semi final on Saturday - just across town to Cardinia Waters. This game was an arm wrestle all afternoon and although both sides had two rinks up and two down for the majority of the contest, it always seemed to be Cardinia Waters which had its nose in front. At the half way mark the score was 39-42 against the Lions and with three quarters of the game completed, the deficit was still only a very manageable four shots. Incredibly, with 84 ends completed the score was tied at 80 all and an extra end was required on all rinks to determine the outcome.

However Ron Hawkins, one of the Pakenham players, had already left the green and was on his way to hospital as his wife had unfortunately experienced a medical emergency. Consequently, after sitting on the sideline cooling his heels in the 350 heat all afternoon, substitute John Coote was called upon to step up and play one cut-throat end of bowls. John was as nervous as a kitten yet in a remarkable feat, on a surface on which he had virtually no previous experience and without the benefit of a roll up, he delivered two bowls to within a foot of the jack – the crowd went wild! (or at least the Pakenham supporters did). Pressure? - What pressure?

In the end, Pakenham scored six shots to one in that extra end and with two rinks up, one drawn and one down were victors by 86-81. The players involved in that mighty effort were Charles Harris (S), Paul Walter (3), Lois Mashado (2) and Razor Ray Pigdon (L); Reg Mattingly (S), Kevin (Digger) Goonan (3), Josie Mazzarella (2) and Trent (Rowdy) Bedford (L); Terry O’Toole (S), Dave (Tiger’s Dad) Wood (3), Gian Pianezzola (2) and Adrian (ATrain)Wheelan (L); Kevin Donald (S), Sam Granieri (3), John Siekman (2), Ron Hawkins (L) and of course John Coote.

There were two changes to the side which headed down to Edithvale on Sunday for the grand final against Cheltenham – Ave Jones replaced Lois Mashado (unavailable) and Ray Illing replaced Ron Hawkins. Tackling ladder leaders Cheltenham on grass, their preferred surface, was a tough assignment, particularly as they had lost only three games for the season and were in ominous form, having demolished the powerful Mulgrave Country Club in the other semi final the previous day.

Cheltenham got off to a good start and quickly established a small lead. However by the half way mark the Lions had caught and were matching them and the overall margin was down to a single shot. From that point forward, unfortunately, one Pakenham rink lost its way and despite the efforts of the other three, Cheltenham was able to claim victory, 79 shots to 67.

Despite not winning the flag, the Threes can look back on their season with pride and look forward with confidence as they step up to Division Three next season.

Pakenham Four (Div 6) were also on the road for their semi final against Keysborough at their opponents’ home ground. Signs were not good in this game from the very beginning as Keysborough jumped away to an early lead which had grown to 20 shots by the half way mark. From that point the Lions held their own and began to make real inroads into the lead as they approached the business ends of the game. Unfortunately, however, they left their run too late and lost by nine shots, 59-68; an honourable defeat but defeat nevertheless.

The Team members who participated in this final were John Moore (S), Bill Bosch (3), Peter Jones (2) and Luis Aguilar (L); Peter Bott (S), Ken Clifton (3), Ray Leggett (2) and Alan Waterson (L); John Hickman (S), Alan Wilcock (3), Vince Bevilacqua (2) and Gail Wilcock (L); and Ray Illing (S), Ave Jones (3), Annie Wetere (2) and Joan Montgomery (L).

MIDWEEK

After lowering their colours to ladder leader Cranbourne in the final home and away round, the Women’s Only side faced the daunting task of playing the same opponent again in their semi-final match last Tuesday - this time on Cranbourne’s home ground. However the Pakenham ladies brought their “A Game”to the contest and were there to play. They surprised Cranbourne by jumping away early and with two rinks up, held a handy lead 41-29 at the lunch break. From that point though, the locals began to chip away at Pakenham’s lead and with a final rush of 11 shots to two over the last six ends, finished the Lions’ season.

With a score of 28-14, Jen Bainbridge’s rink was the only winner for Pakenham in the close 62-66 overall finish. Despite the defeat, the ladies should be proud of their achievements this season, particularly having made the finals. They were Jennifer Bainbridge (S), Lois Brock (3), Janet Stevenson (2) and Sandra Wilde (L); Josie Mazzarella (S), Ave Jones (3), Anna Barrie (2) and Fiona Samson (L); and Kerry Lewis (S), Val Moore (3), Annie Wetere (2) and Lavinia Moss (L), with Faye Osborne as emergency.

By finishing second in their section, Pakenham Three (Div 3 Open) had the benefit of a home semi and made the most of that advantage. Also playing Cranbourne, they got away to a good start and by half way through the game were well up on one rink and held slender margins on the other two. The visitors pushed hard after the break but the Lions held firm for a satisfying 70-43 win with all rinks up.

Best rink with 31-12 was Charles Harris (S), John Moore (3), Ken Clifton (2) and Razor Ray Pigdon (L). Jim Barrie (S), Bill Bosch (3), Peter Bott (2) and Ray Illing (L) scored 21-14 while Paul Currie (S), Kevin Donald (3), John Siekman (2) and Joy Tomlin (L) had a close one, 18-17.

The side which went to Berwick for the grand final against Keysborough was unchanged. Despite allowing their opponents to get away to an early lead, the Lions came back hard and by half way had two rinks up and a slender 35-32 lead. Unfortunately, Pakenham was unable to maintain that momentum on two of its three rinks and Keysborough eventually prevailed by 63 shots to 53. Having just missed a Div Three flag, the Threes will face tougher competition next year in Div Two.

The Six-A-Side Pakenham Four also earned a home semi, having finished on top of their section. They got away to a slow start in a close game against Edithvale and by half way were up on one rink, down on the other but behind, by only two shots overall. The battle continued to be evenly balanced right to the end but it was Pakenham which was victorious, albeit by just two shots. John Hickman (S), Ray Leggett (2) and Peter Jones won 20-17, while Alan Waterson (S), Peter Wilson (2) and Lindsay Stevenson (L) lost a cliff hanger, 18-19.

The side which travelled to Churchill Waverley Golf for the grand final against Hampton Park was also unchanged. This game was a nail biter from the word go - the margin never got to more than a handful of shots either way at any stage of the game and there was only one shot in it at the half way mark. The final outcome was decided on the last end of the day; unfortunately it went the way of Hampton Park with a 32-33 score line.

All in all, the Six-A-Side Fours had a very good season and can look forward to being extremely competitive again in 2018/19.

Des Leigh

John Coote Has His Moment Of Glory

Synchronised Bowls – Ray Illing And Adrian Wheelan At Edithvale