Midweek Pennant resumed after the Christmas break on Tuesday 11 January 2022 while the Weekend competition got under way again on Saturday 15 January.
For those who were able to navigate the ever-present road works (for some, a 45-minute trip took an hour and a half) members of Pakenham’s number-one side had a pleasant enough drive across to Cheltenham where they locked horns with a team which confidently sat well clear at the top of the ladder – remaining undefeated in the process.
Unfortunately for the Lions, it was evident from early on in the game that their host’s confidence was not misplaced and the Cockies quickly stamped their authority on the contest, leaving the visitors to play catch-up bowls.
With the exception of Foxy’s rink, which stayed close all day only to fall short by a single shot at the final hurdle, the Lions were never really in the hunt and returned home with zero Pennant points after a disappointing 95/56 defeat – the drive home was far from pleasant.
The loss saw the Ones drop to the seventh rung of the ladder, 10 points ahead of Mordialloc but 11 behind Upwey-Tecoma. Those two sides will meet at Mordy in round eight while Pakenham will host Parkdale (fourth) – it promises to be an interesting weekend.
Players should note that there have been some amendents to the draw previously posted on the Bowls Vic Competition Portal regarding the double headers scheduled for Division One in coming weeks – they will now be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays, February 12 and 13; February 26 and 27; and March 5 and 6. Keep an eye on the website for any further developments.
Playing on their home patch, Pakenham Two fared slightly better than the senior side but there was little to brag about.
Hampton Park jumped them from the very start and by the completion of the first 20 ends was ahead on all four rinks and held a 20-shot lead overall. The Lions matched the visitors from that point until the half way mark but were unable to make any inroads into the deficit which remained at 20 shots.
By the start of the business ends they had managed to claw back five of those shots and had two rinks in front but they were then outscored by almost two shots to one in the run home to lose by 64 shots to 90.
However, they did collect three Pennant points with a win on one rink and a draw on a second.
Best rink with 21/16 was John Tarr (S), Reg ‘Wombat’ Mattingly (3), Trevor Fry (2) and the “Wildwoman,” Sandra Wilde (L). It is an understatement to say that the Twos badly need a win. They will be home again for their round eight clash with Berwick, second on the ladder.
Pakenham Three also played Hampton Park (away) and came home with a result not too dissimilar to that of the Twos.
With the exception of Peter Wilson’s rink, they were jumped from the start and were continually outscored as the game progressed, eventually finishing with only one rink up and losing by 71 shots to 100.
The winning rink of Peter Wilson (S), Alan Waterson (3), Vince Bevilacqua (2) and Alan Wilcock (L) had a game of two halves – they outscored their opponents by 23 shots to eight in the first half but then struggled to hang on for a 29/24 win, after being outscored by 16 shots to six in the second half.
Hampton Park’s win allowed them to displace Pakenham from third spot on the Pennant ladder – the Lions have now dropped to fourth but are safely more than a full round ahead of Willow Lodge in fifth.
They will travel into the hills to Upwey-Tecoma (eighth) next round.
In marked contrast to their weekend counterparts, both Midweek teams kicked off the New Year with good wins.
Pakenham One were away at Cardinia Waters where they encountered a team which included seven (of 12) members who were former Lions, including two of the three skips– guaranteed to add a little spice!
The game was evenly balanced during the early stages and after 15 ends, despite trailing on two of the three rinks, Pakenham held a one-shot lead overall.
However, from that point forward the Lions’ turbo kicked in – by the half way mark they had two rinks up and led 43/19 and at the commencement of the business ends all three rinks were well in front and the overall lead had blown out to 61/28.
Pakenham then outscored their opponents 15/7 over the last 15 ends to record a comfortable 76/35 win and collected maximum Pennant points.
Best rink with 33/15 was Keith ‘Golden Arm’ Archer (S), Steve ‘Krusty’ Bentley (3), Terry ‘TMac’ McRedmond (2) and Gary ‘Crow’ Crowley (L).
The Ones have replaced Cardinia Waters at fifth spot on the ladder – they have a very winnable (on paper) game at home against Churchill Waverley Golf (seventh) next round.
Although playing at home, the second side (seventh) faced a tough assignment against second on the ladder Cranbourne RSL who had yet to experience a loss in season 2021-22.
However, from the very start the Lions came out firing on all twelve cylinders and after the first 15 ends led by 17 shots to six and had all three rinks in front.
The score ebbed and flowed over the next 33 ends but the Lions were able to maintain that buffer of 11 to 12 shots which they had established at the outset.
Then, as the game entered the business ends, the Lions put the collective foot down again and finished the way that they had started, outscoring the RSL by 21 shots to nine on the home straight for an overall 65/42 win.
Best rink with 26/8 was Peter Wilson (S), Eric Peterson (3), Louis Aguilar (2) and Steve Rayner (L).
Despite the win, the Twos remain in seventh spot on the ladder but are now only two points behind Cranbourne, sixth. They will be away at Berwick (fifth) next round.