FIVE-time Western District Bowls Division premier Warrnambool Gold is relishing the chance to be the hunter rather than the hunted.
The return of top-line bowlers Bill Tory and Tristan McArthur helped the association powerhouse put its 2017-18 season back on track on Saturday.
Warrnambool Gold romped to a cleansweep 132-58 win over Timboon Gold at its Timor Street home base.
Skipper Shayne Pudney said Tory, playing his first game of the season, and McArthur helped strengthen its line up.
“Bill is one of the most experienced bowlers in the association – I can’t tell you how many premierships he’s played in over the years," he said.
“Tristan is a young man, 30 years old, and his skipper Ben Cornick is 28.
“They seem to gel together; they’re a good fit to play in the same rink. They’re up and about, young and exuberant.”
Pudney said Warrnambool Gold found itself in unfamiliar territory after back-to-back losses in rounds three and four.
“I have only been here two years but the boys were saying it was the first time in five or six years they’d lost two in a row,” he said.
“We’re not accustomed to not being in the top four.”
City Memorial Gold and Mortlake Blue – two sides putting perennial finalists under pressure – played out a dramatic 90-all draw.
Mortlake Blue second Richard van Diemen, who praised division one newcomer Clive Baxter, played in George Draffen’s rink which was the last on the Timor Street greens.
“We were holding shot and it was all square across the board,” he said.
“There was one bowl to come and George was half to three-quarters of a shot short to get the overall win.
“City Memorial came back well after smoko. We were holding good leads in a couple of rinks.”
Warrnambool Blue bowler Ian Hatfield said skippers Kevin Boyd and Alan Campbell steered it to an important 99-94 win over Port Fairy Red which helped it “stay in the hunt”.