ESTABLISHED powerhouses continued their dominance of the top grade of Saturday pennant lawn bowls.
Ladder-leader Warrnambool Gold and second-ranked City Memorial Red are again unbackable favourites to take the title after convincing displays on the greens.
City Red accounted for Timboon Gold at Cramer Street, claiming three rinks en route to a 103-68 victory which dropped the visitors to fourth. Warrnambool Gold, meanwhile, won three rinks and drew the fourth against Dennington Red, winning 103-79.
The two sides, for so long the dominant forces of the Western District Bowls Division, have made the competition their own this season. Warrnambool Gold has 216 points and is 448 shots up. City Red has 193 points and is 466 shots up.
Only one other division one side in a 10-team grade has positive shot difference — City Gold, which has 130 points and is 53 shots up.
But City Red skipper Tim Jackway said the stats belied how competitive weekend pennant really was.
Jackway was yesterday upbeat about how well his teammates — notably leader Ian “Sticks” Richardson — bowled throughout the afternoon. “It was a really good effort. They were sitting third on the ladder and it was a very important game for them,” he said.
“They would’ve expected to do a bit better than that.
“Home-green advantage is a big thing. It’s hard to ascertain how much of an advantage it is but you’re practising and playing on that green so much.
“And they’re not quite used to it. It certainly counts for something.
“I’ve been saying (it’s worth) three shots a rink but it’s really more than that. Sometimes it’s 15 or 20 shots overall.”
Jackway said City Red had become a more settled side since the start of the campaign. He said being one of the “big” clubs in the WDBD meant there were usually capable bowlers who could cover departures — a key to its strength this season. “We’ve got two big games coming up in the next two weeks. We play our second side, who are desperate to win to stay in the four, then we play Warrnambool Gold. “That’ll give a bit of an indication how we’re going. Our second side will really be trying to beat us.”
In other WDBD Saturday pennant matches, City Gold took the points against Warrnambool White, three rinks to one, 109-81 at Timor Street. Warrnambool Blue moved within nine shots of the top four with a 95-73 win against Terang Green at Timor Street, winning three rinks and drawing the fourth.
And Port Fairy Red all but ensured it would stay in division one with a three-rinks-to-one, 106-76 win against Mortlake Blue at Port Fairy.