ONE is a top-grade newcomer trying to find its feet against the best Tuesday pennant sides in the Western District Bowls Division.
The other is an established force which has played in several grand finals during the past decade.
But reputations counted for nothing when promoted City Memorial Blue played a 70-all draw with powerhouse Warrnambool Gold at Cramer Street.
City Memorial Blue skipper Colleen Haberfield was the hero, shifting the kitty and picking up two shots with the last bowl of the afternoon to force the tie.
She lost her rink to Brenda Hawker, 28-21, while teammate Beryl Duncan went down to Helen Lock, 24-10.
But Helen Kelly’s rink had a big win, 39-18 against Maree Lynch, an outcome which was pivotal to the overall result.
Kelly said the close finish meant there was a strong crowd surrounding the green.
“It was really very exciting, the last few ends were very close,” she said.
“Everyone else had finished so there was a lot of pressure on her and she handled it really well.”
Kelly said City Memorial Blue was happy to share the points.
“We were very excited just to get the draw. They’re the top side and we were very pleased,” she said.
“We went in, all gathered together and really enjoyed the afternoon.”
City Memorial Blue is the third side out of Cramer Street and isn’t expected to finish ahead of intraclub rivals City Gold and City Blue.
But the round one draw has hinted at big things for the underdogs.
At the very least, Kelly and her teammates have a good chance to string together back-to-back seasons in division one.
“They’ve changed a few players in the team. That’s boosted us a bit. We’re very hopeful we can win a few games,” she said.
“I don’t think I’d go that far (and talk about finals) but hopefully we can win a few games and be competitive.”
The City Memorial Blue-Warrnambool Gold match was one of two which went down to the wire yesterday.
Timboon snatched a two rinks to one, 69-67 win against Warrnambool Blue at Timor Street.
Corrie Dixon sealed the memorable triumph by picking up two shots on the last end against Judy Smith to break the deadlock.
Dixon lost to Smith 25-18, Hazel Collins beat Mary Smith 27-20 and Betty Russell edged out Shirley Ullathorne 24-22.
Terang opened its title defence with an important win, upstaging City Memorial Gold one rink to two, 74-69, at Terang.
Carol Cardwell had a 34-21 win against Barbara Bibby, which was enough to make up deficits on the other two rinks.
And Port Fairy Gold upset City Memorial Green 83-67 at Cramer Street.