THIS afternoon when players from City Memorial Bowls club step on the green, friendships will be put to one side and rivalries take over.
The club’s two division one sides, City Red and City Gold, meet in the Western District Bowls Division preliminary final and both are keen to fill the vacant grand final berth against Warrnambool Gold next weekend.
“We are talking to each other and friendly off the green, but it will be a different story tomorrow,” club stalwart and City Red team member Brian Scott said yesterday.
“It gets serious when you step on to the green.
“This is a do-or-die game for both teams and we both want to win this one.”
City Gold’s Fred Fish said while the rivalry was intense, members of both teams were happy to see the club doing so well.
“It’s not just the division one teams doing well, Green are playing Warrnambool Red in the division two preliminary final in division two, White are playing Timboon Maroon in division three and Orange will play against Timboon Red in division four.
“It’s been a great year for the club.”
Scott has been playing with City Memorial for 17 years and a member of “seven or eight” division one premierships.
Fish has been at the club for eight years, after playing at Dennington and Warrnambool for “30 odd years,” and said he was hoping to make it through to his first division one final at the club.
City Red was pushed into this week’s preliminary final after losing to Warrnambool Gold by one shot last week, 95-94.
City Gold enter this week’s contest on the back of a win over Timboon, 109-85.
Both Fish and Scott said all players would have to be “on their mettle” for the whole game, because each knows how the other plays and the home-green advantage was non-existent.
“Every player knows how this green runs,” Scott said.
“We play here, we practice here, so everyone will know how to handle it if it’s dry and quick or if there’s wind. It’s going to keep us all on our toes.
“And each of the players know how their opponent play and the little quirks in their game, so it’s going to be difficult to get the upper hand.”
Fish said after the extended dry spell and today’s forecast warm temperatures, he was expecting the green to be fairly fast, especially in the late afternoon.
“Whatever the outcome, we will have one side in the grand final, which is great for the club,” Fish said.
“The selectors often get a hard time, but they have done something right this year.
“We have five teams vying for a grand final berth in four divisions.”