Men’s first division pennant season goes down to the wire

Tim ScottAlbany Advertiser
The men’s first division season is set for a thrilling final home and away round.
Camera IconThe men’s first division season is set for a thrilling final home and away round. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Passionate Albany bowler TIM SCOTT is writing a fortnightly column for The Extra, keeping our readers up to date with the local bowls scene.

The Lower Great Southern Bowling League men’s first division season is set for a thrilling final home and away round.

Ladder leaders Albany Gold suffered an upset 5 (68) to 1 (50) loss to Mid Beach Black, while Emu Point Red grabbed a valuable away win over Denmark 5 (61) to 1 (51).

This win keeps Emu Point in second place and only two points behind Albany Gold, who have been on top for most of the campaign.

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This will ensure a great finish to the season as teams race to claim the valuable home green advantage in hosting the finals as the top finishing team.

Mt Barker Golf suffered a big loss to Middleton Beach Green 6 (67) to 0 (55), which has them at the bottom of the ladder and having to upset Albany Gold away to maintain their place in first division.

Albany Green continued their recent impressive form with a valuable win over Middleton Beach Gold 5 (66) to 1 (48).

This win makes sure Green will be in the top division next year.

In men’s second division, ladder leaders Mt Barker come out on top after a wonderful battle against second-placed Walpole 4 (55) to 2 (52).

This win means that Mt Barker finished 12 points clear at the top and will host the finals.

Albany Brown and Grey also fought out a close game in the local derby, with Brown prevailing 4 (56) to 2 (54).

Cranbrook suffered a huge loss at home to Mt Barker Golf White 6 (77) to 0 (43), which has left them at the bottom of the ladder, only one point behind Middleton Beach White, who also lost to Emu Point Purple 5 (66) to 1 (51).

Cranbrook and White play Mt Barker and Walpole respectively, and any point gained could be extremely valuable in the bid to avoid relegation.

Men’s third division leaders Denmark recorded an impressive home win over Middleton Beach Lime 6 (80) to 0 (42) and virtually ensured that they will finish on top at the end of the home and away series.

Second-placed Mt Barker won 5 (74) to 1 (62) over Emu Point White, while Green Range came out on top after a thrilling one-shot victory over Mt Barker Golf Blue 4 (57) to 2 (56).

The final four will be decided after next week’s final round.

After a long and gruelling week, Emu Point are celebrating winning the men’s Country Week fours title.

The team of Jon Sharpe, Matt Mitchell, Steve Tuffley and Doug Wright beat a strong combination from Bunbury and Brunswick in the final at Osborne Park Bowling Club.

Wright created a unique piece of Country Week history by adding the fours title to his pairs-winning feat back in 1981 while playing at Kellerberrin.

Emu Point also shared the honour of best performed club with Geraldton and Merredin, the first time since 1996 three clubs have shared this award.

Albany’s Jon Davidson also performed well in the singles, being knocked out in the semifinal by eventual winner Matthew France from Merredin.

This win was back-to-back triumphs for France and his third overall.

Next year he will attempt to equal Wickepin legend Keith Doncon’s record of three Country Week singles titles in a row.

The 8 Badge with Middleton Beach’s John “Jack” Higgins

1. Where were you born? Kojonup.

2. Sports/interests growing up? Football and cricket.

3. How did you get/who got you into bowls? I was playing cricket at Frankland and the bowls boys convinced me to join them more than 40 years ago.

4. Clubs played for? Frankland, Mt Barker Golf & Middleton Beach.

5. Favourite format? Pennants and pairs.

6. Most cherished moment on greens? Winning 1990 Country Week Fours while at golf with Dennis Silvester, Jim Robertson & Ron Townsend.

7. Best bowler ever seen/played against? Keith Doncon

8. Why would you recommend bowls as a sport to play? Friendship; it’s very social and you meet great people.

Higgins recently attended his 42nd Country Week, playing with his grandson Liam in the pairs and son Ian in the fours.

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