DEVOTED Mortlake bowler George Draffen can feel the tide turning.
A hot stretch of form – which has yielded success against some of the Western District Bowls Division’s top clubs – has Mortlake nestled comfortably in fifth place.
Draffen said a draw against powerhouse City Memorial Gold last week had confidence flowing ahead of a crunch tie with reigning premier Warrnambool Gold on Saturday.
“It’s exciting to be where we are – this week won’t be a top side versus a bottom side because of that,” he told The Standard.
“We’re playing good bowls and everybody is feeling good about where we are.
“Warrnambool Gold have been the benchmark for many years and we’d like to think we can make them work for it.”
Draffen said his club was enjoying the flow-on effects of improved depth.
“As a team, we’ve never really had this situation,” he said.
“We’ve had one of our key players, Justin Rasmussen, who has been away with cycling. He’s been playing as a third in the top side all year and he’ll have to come back through the seconds.
“Paul Delany has come in and has performed very well. It’s an unusual situation we’ve had as a club.
"Depth has absolutely been the biggest difference for us this year. The top sides have historically had 16 good players.
“The game has become a lot closer.”
Elsewhere, City Red play City Gold in an intra-club rivalry clash, while Koroit Blue host Dennington Red.
Timboon will host Terang Green while Warrnambool Blue lock horns with Lawn Tennis Red.
Port Fairy Red has a one-round bye.