AN extraordinary final round has capped off one of the most closely contested Western District Bowls Division Saturday Pennant home-and-away seasons.
The predicted script for the final round was thrown out the window with two big upsets turning everything on its head.
Dennington Red was the biggest loser when it went down to City Memorial Gold and in the process forfeited any chance of playing in the finals.
City Memorial Gold used its home green to produce one of its best showings of the season with 107-82.
Dennington Red had only needed to win this game and it would have moved into the top four but it stumbled when it could least afford to and will now start planning for next season.
Port Fairy Red was the lucky loser from the round as it snuck into fourth place on the ladder despite a 97-87 loss to third-placed Warrnambool Blue.
And Koroit Blue produced the biggest upset of the round when it defeated second-placed City Memorial Red 94-83 at Koroit.
The win moved Koroit Blue agonisingly close to a finals beth in its first season back in division one, falling just one point short of a place in the top four.
City Memorial Red will need to rediscover its best form before Saturday when it comes up against top of the ladder Warrnambool Gold in the second semi-final.
In the first semi-final it will be a re-match between Warrnambool Blue and Port Fairy Red.
Warrnambool Blue’s Stephen Mitchell said he expected another close encounter after the hard fought win on Saturday.
“We are pretty evenly matched with Port Fairy Red and I don’t think it will be any different this week. It should be a great game,” Mitchell said.
“We got away to a good start on Saturday and had a lead at smoko and that helps because it is always tougher when you have to chase.
“We are looking forward to the finals.
‘‘I think all the pressure is on the top two teams — for us and Port Fairy Red we can go out and play with a fair bit of freedom.”
In other final round games, Warrnambool Gold produced an expected result when it was the 105-71 winner over Terang Green.
Timboon Gold will be relegated from division one after finishing on the bottom of the ladder after it lost to Warrnambool White 108-73.