Lucky break helps Port Fairy end finals drought

THERE’S one word to describe Port Fairy’s appearance in the Saturday Pennant finals — lucky. 

After one of the tightest competitions in recent memory, Port Fairy remains in finals contention despite a loss to Warrnambool Blue in last week’s extraordinary final round of upsets. 

Port Fairy slipped to fourth on the ladder, switching places with Warrnambool Blue. But if the other matches played last week had followed the script, its finals berth would have been under threat. 

Koroit’s upset win over City Memorial Red and Dennington’s loss to City Memorial Gold meant there were few other changes on the ladder. Koroit missed out on playing finals by just one agonising point. 

This week Port Fairy faces Warrnambool Blue again, but this time in the knock-out first semi-final at City Memorial. 

Port Fairy skipper Jim Lowe said it was a relief to just make the finals, but the hard work started now.

“It would have been disappointing to miss the finals. We had been in the four most of the season,” he said. 

“We lost last week and slipped a spot on the ladder, but we had done enough through the year to keep us up there.” Lowe said it was the first time in more than 10 years that a Port Fairy division one side had played finals. 

“We’ve had teams in the other divisions but it’s been a while since we had a division one team in,” he said. 

“It’s been a good year for the club. We have five teams taking part in finals this weekend.” 

Lowe said he was expecting another close contest against Warrnambool Blue today. 

“I think it’ll be 50-50. We had one rink that lost by a big margin last week, but the other that lost was only by a few shots,” he said. 

“There really wasn’t much in it last week, so I think it will be much the same this week.” 

He said it was hard to pinpoint a reason for Port Fairy’s improvement in division one this year. 

“I think it’s just a bit more balance in the teams. 

“It’s going to be an interesting game today.We need to concentrate and keep steady if we want to get over the line.” 

In the second semi-final Warrnambool Gold and City Memorial Red play for a spot in the grand final. 

The loser will play the winner of Port Fairy and Warrnambool Blue in next week’s preliminary final. 

jwoolley@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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