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Strong finish nabs pennant points

IT was a tale of two halves in Mortlake Blue’s Western District Bowls Division victory over Warrnambool Blue last Saturday.

The Lakers were forced to overcome an early deficit, with skippers Colin Goldsworthy, Shane Cashill and George Draffen eventually leading their rinks to victory to secure Mortlake a comfortable 86-43 win.

Goldsworthy defeated Kelvin Lilley 28-16, Cashill beat Kevin Boyd 28-16 and Draffen accounted for Alan Campbell 27-14 as the Lakers sewed up second spot on the ladder ahead of this weekend’s bye.

Selector Darren Grant said his side was pleased with the result.

“As I said last week it was a danger game for us not being sure of these second teams from the strong clubs, so it was a really encouraging win,” he said.

“All rinks were down at the halfway mark but all three rinks came home strongly and all got good wins in the end.”

Despite the slow start, Grant said the Lakers’ finish highlighted the improvement within the side this season.

He conceded his rink, Goldsworthy’s, took some time to warm to its best bowls, which he said may have been a similar story to the other rinks.

“We just weren’t playing well enough in the first half of the game, but we got our act together and started to play as a team more in the second half of our game,” he said.

“I would assume the other rinks had a similar start but it’s really encouraging to see us really finish the games off and play them right out to win the way we did.”

Grant went further to say the performance would grow the self-belief within the players and the club.

His side is now faced with the challenge of continuing its winning form after the bye, with the Lakers set for tough matches against Koroit Blue and Terang Green when they resume.

Grant said Mortlake was “looking forward” to taking on one of the division’s top sides on their home green, with his club already dubbing the Koroit clash as another must-win.

“We’re just approaching the Koroit game with the same level of self-belief we’ve taken into our other games,” he said.

“Koroit have played finals the last five years so they’ll be tough to beat at Koroit.”

In the lower grades, Mortlake White went down to Port Fairy Blue in division two, while Mortlake Gold beat Port Fairy Green by 30 shots.

Grant said division two’s result was “a great effort” despite the narrow loss while division four had a “good win”.

Division two lost to Port Fairy Blue 72-73.

Kevin O’Shannessy 25-23 and Ian MacDonald 30-23 were the successful rinks with Alan Puzey 17-28 getting beaten.

Division four defeated Port Fairy Green 83-53.

Anne Van Diemen 31-12, Frank Robertson 26-18 and Richard Van Diemen 26-23 all secured rink wins.

Mortlake White sits ninth on the ladder while Gold is fifth ahead of the bye this weekend.

Midweek pennant results from November 12:

Division one defeated Dennington Dolphins 78-55.

Rink wins went to Anne Van Diemen 27-20, George Draffen 28-18 and Lyn O’Shannessy 23-17.

Division three lost to Port Fairy Red 34-54.

Patricia Digby 19-25 and Leo Smith 15-29 were both unsuccessful on their rinks.

Over 60s results from November 12: Mortlake lost to Camperdown 58-76.

Jim Wallace skippered the only successful rink for Mortlake.

In other club news, the men’s A grade championship will see Shane Cashill, Kevin O’Shannessy, James Ruddle and David McNicoll contest the semi-finals in coming weeks.

With no pennant this week due to the Vic Open Bowls Tournament, Mortlake will host its annual RSL day on Saturday.