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Mortlake bowlers set for challenge

MORTLAKE Blue is preparing for its toughest assignment of the Western District Bowls pennant season yet after a strong victory over Port Fairy Red last Saturday.

The Lakers rocketed to the top of the ladder following a comprehensive display of bowling in wet, windy and cold conditions at Mortlake, winning all three rinks en route to a comfortable 91-46 victory.

It followed on from their 72-64 win over Timboon Gold, with the Lakers now preparing to face reigning premier City Red under lights this Friday night.

Selector Darren Grant said his club was thrilled with its start to the season but knows they have a string of tough games to come.

“It’s an excellent start being two from two and on top of the ladder,” he said.

“But we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves because it will be tough against City Red on Friday night.

“At the end of the day it’s been a good start beating Timboon and Port Fairy.”

Shane Cashill, with the help of Alan Wentworth, James Ruddle and David McNicol, paved the way for the Lakers’ victory with a stunning 41-10 win over Robert Mallett,

Colin Goldsworthy and his team of Peter Beardsley, Clive Baxter and Grant followed Cashill with a 28-17 victory over Murray Arnold.

And then George Draffen completed the rout by narrowly defeating Steven Gibb 22-19 with the help of Justin Rasmussen, Richard Draffen and Peter Summerhayes.

Grant said Cashill’s performance was made more “impressive” by the fact it was his first time donning a Lakers uniform.

“Obviously Shane Cashill had an outstanding day really, that was an impressive debut for the club and pretty comprehensive win of his,” he said.

“Colin Goldsworthy’s was a good win in the end in a tight, tough game and George Draffen’s game was pretty tight all day but he just got over the line.”

The Lakers’ clash with City Red will be Mortlake’s first against one of the division’s powerhouse clubs and the first time many of the Lakers side have played at City Memorial under the dome.

Grant said his side would go into the game with confidence on the back of their two victories albeit knowing they have a tough task ahead of them.

“The games against the likes of Port Fairy and that you go in confident knowing you can win but when you play City Red you go in nice and confident hoping for a win,” he said.

“We’ll go into the game confident but also knowing we are the underdogs and that we are playing high quality opposition.”

Grant implored his team-mates to be mentally prepared for the encounter in the hope of his side giving themselves the best chance of snaring a third successive victory.

He said the Lakers cannot afford to have a minor lapse in concentration in the 75 end contest or they will be trying to play catch up bowls, something he conceded was difficult to do.

“It’s a bit different with City Red in that it’s an obvious one that you have to be switched on from start to finish with them,” he said.

“Against teams like them you have to be switched on right from the start because they can quickly get a good break on you if you’re not concentrating.

“If they get a lead on you, it’s hard to get shots back off them.”

In the lower grades, Mortlake White lost to City White 83-52 in division two while Mortlake Gold lost to City Maroon 87-54 in division four.

The division two side face City Blue at Mortlake this weekend, while division four has the bye.