Pennant Season 2019 – 2020 Semi Final
PAKENHAM BOWLS CLUB – PENNANT SEMI FINAL – 14 MAR 2020
With the ever present threat of the Coronavirus in mind, Bowls Victoria issued a direction late last week that finals games were to be spectator free and that the usual hand shakes and high fives were to be discouraged. The practice of picking up bowls for teammates was also listed as a “no-no”. The atmosphere at Croydon was therefore quite subdued at the commencement of Saturday’s semi-final between the top of the ladder Croydon Pirates and the Pakenham Lions, although a small number of hardy supporters (free thinkers perhaps?) chose to ignore BV’s advice and took up positions at the side of the green before the game had started. There were also some comical situations as players sought novel ways of greeting (e.g. elbow taps which almost resulted in an elbow to the chops) and acknowledging a good bowl by a team mate (e.g. high fives which deliberately missed or were left hanging). However, as the day progressed, more and more spectators drifted in and the usual forms of congratulation and encouragement returned and as is their wont, Croydon’s men made enough noise for an arena full of spectators.
Although played in good spirit, as one would expect of a final, the game was hard fought from the outset. Despite playing “catch-up” bowls all day, the margin between the two sides was never insurmountable and until the last few ends, the Lions were always in with a chance of victory. Geoff (Voota)Van Vugt’s rink was in front all day (apart from dropping a one on the first end) but against quality opposition could not score heavily enough to cover the shortfall generally occurring across the other three. Neil (Big Dev) Devlin’s team had an arm wrestle all afternoon against a rink skipped by former Pakenham young gun, Daniel Hudson, but in the end fell short by just four shots. Chris (Foxy) Fox’s rink found themselves in a similar situation to that of the previous week – close but no cigar. They were ahead in the early stages of a low scoring game but slowly began losing control and despite winning six ends on the trot in the middle of the game were eventually beaten by (just) five shots. Trent (Gribbo) Gribbin’s rink was in touch for most of a game which featured a flurry of drives but dropping a couple of multiples after the break did not help their cause.
The final result was a win to Croydon by 79 shots to 65 – it must be acknowledged they were the better side on the day. Croydon were then beaten by just two shots in a tight Grand Final at Burden Park on Sunday, by Warburton who had finished the season in second spot. Pakenham’s team can be proud that in a season where many had written them off, they stuck to their guns, beat most of the other teams at least once, were at one stage as high as second on the ladder and made the finals. The team which turned out for the Lions on Saturday was Geoff (Voota) Van Vugt (S), Glenn (Google) Bainbridge (3), Terry (Sully) Sullivan (2) and Peter (Hacksaw) Bott (L); Neil (Big Dev) Devlin (S), Keith (Golden Arm) Archer (3), Kevin (Smurf) Murphy (2) and Terry (Tmac) McRedmond (L); Chris (Foxy) Fox (S), Des (Grizzly) Leigh (3), Gian Pianezzola (2) and Greame (Wildman) Wilde (L); and Trent (Gribbo) Gribbin (S), Stephen (Krusty) Bentley (3), David Laird (2) and Ian (Lefty/Ando) Anderson (L); the proud emergency was Paul Currie who never stopped encouraging his team mates! Hopefully all will be available for selection, still in Division One, for season 2020/2021.
After recent good results, it was a disappointing end to the season for Pakenham’s Midweek bowlers with all four teams recording losses last Tuesday.
Pakenham One (Div 1) were under the roof at Brighton. They held their own for the first half of the game but were outscored two to one after lunch to go down by 50/72 overall. The Lions’ only winning rink with 25/18 was Keith (Golden Arm) Archer (S), Terry (Tmac) McRedmond (3), Peter (Hacksaw) Bott (2) and Graeme (Wildman) Wilde (L). Having finished in ninth position on the ladder, the Ones will be relegated to Div 2 for next season.
Pakenham Two (Div 2) played host to their neighbours from Cardinia Waters. The game started to get away from the Lions from the early stages and by the half way mark they were down 24/40, despite having one rink in front and another all square. From that point forward they outscored the visitors but it was, “too little too late” and they eventually lost 49/62, their only winning rink with 17/16, being John (Giovanni) Donazzan (S), Peter Powney (3), Ken Clifton (2) and Jan Moore (L). The Twos finished tenth and will be relegated to Div 3.
It was a matter of, “another one that got away,” for Pakenham Three (Div 4) in their game at Berwick. Although they started slowly, they held a lead of 11 shots at the half way mark and had two rinks in front at that stage. However their lead had been whittled down to a single shot by the start of the business ends and despite ending the game with two rinks up, the Lions lost overall by five shots. Best rink with 21/14 was Lindsay Stevenson (S), Roy Harvie (3), Luis Aguilar (2) and Peter McQueen (L). The Threes ended the season in eighth spot, equal on points with Mulgrave (seventh) but behind on percentage.
The Six-A-Side Pakenham Four ended their season with a 12 shot, 34/46 loss, at home to Hampton Park Two. Their visitors quickly established a seven shot lead which remained the margin at the half way mark. The Lions started the second half of the game strongly and had reduced the lead to just two shots by the commencement of the business ends – however they were unable to maintain the pressure and eventually lost with both rinks going down. The Fours have proved to be competitive this season – hopefully theywill have the numbers in 2020/2021 to field a side every week and gain some reward for their efforts.
Des Leigh (Grizzly)