EXPERIENCED skipper Jack Murnane says a new-look Dennington lawn bowls side is capable of making top-grade pennant finals.
Murnane is one of just seven Dennington Red bowlers from last season’s division one side who will again take to the green this weekend.
A combination of retirement, unavailability and relocations have ravaged the playing ranks of one of Warrnambool’s smallest clubs.
Most of the inclusions have come from the division two ranks, and the club will field three teams in the Western District Bowls Division, one fewer than last season.
But Murnane, far from being disappointed about the departures, was yesterday upbeat about division two bowlers making their mark in the top grade.
Dennington Red takes on reigning premier City Memorial Red at Dennington today.
“It’s a chance for a lot of people who I consider to be underrated players. It’s given them an opportunity to prove themselves,” he said. “I look at the team this year and what we lack in numbers there’s a bit more grit in the team.
“I’m confident this bunch of blokes are going to have a fair dinkum whack.
“In the end that’s all you can ask for. Sometimes what makes you weaker makes you stronger.
“All the players in the club who have been promoted are looking to have a go.”
Murnane takes the skipper reins on the back of one of his most successful seasons in the sport.
He helped Dennington place fourth and made the quarter-finals of Bowls Victoria men’s singles, defeating higher-profile WDBD and West Coast Region rivals in the process.
The results came after a delayed start to the season as he established his new business Centro Lotto.
Murnane said he was proud of the achievement but was adamant a pennant flag was the major title he chased.
“Singles is a different game, of course, you’re on your own, one against one,” he said.
“It’s a lot different than pennant — pennant is what it’s about. Singles is like winning the best and fairest, it’s good but you’d rather play in a premiership.” The City-Dennington contest is the most intriguing of round one of the WDBD Saturday pennant season.
City Memorial Gold hosts Timboon Gold, Warrnambool Gold takes on Terang Green and Mortlake Blue welcomes Warrnambool Blue. Last season’s division two premier Warrnambool White takes on Port Fairy Red.