Astonishing final round

Reflective time: Enjoying a beer to mark the end of the home and away games are (from left) Kilmore newcomer Josh Wiffen and Gisborne’s Alan Higgins. Wiffen reached the semi-finals of the Regional Champion of Champions on Sunday, as did Kyneton Golf’s in-form Ray Wilkinson, and Digger Rest’s Trish Odgers.

A Hollywood script writer could hardly have conjured up the remarkable last home and away round outcome of Highlands pennant bowls on Saturday.

Gisborne jumped from seventh to fourth place in division one, replacing Kilmore, and Broadford missed a finals spot when a last end measure went ladder leader Romsey’s way by around an eighth of an inch (about three millimetres).

While Gisborne was elated, and maybe surprised, to outplay a disappointing Kilmore comprehensively by 43 shots, Gisborne’s division 2 side plummeted from top place to fourth as a result of losing by ONE SHOT at Kilmore.

And in third division, a rampant Gisborne (3) had the day’s biggest margin, 62 shots up at Trentham, only to miss top spot when a resilient Lancefield gained maximum points against Gisborne (4) to hold onto top spot by a solitary point.

More good news for Gisborne is the imminent completion of its new synthetic green, much larger but otherwise identical to the recently laid surface earning high praise at Woodend.


It promises to be a huge second semi-final day this Saturday at Romsey, with the Redbacks topping the ladders in both first and second division, thereby earning the home green advantage.

Romsey coach Garry Templar understands there’s plenty of talk about Romsey never having won a top grade bowls flag, but the first hurdle has been achieved by earning a home semi-final.

“We’ll be fielding our strongest side possible,” Templar said.

There appears to be plenty of ‘neutral’ support for Romsey in bowls circles at least, reminiscent to what occurred in cricket last season when Romsey won its first top grade flag (McIntyre Cup) for 40 years under Ben Way’s leadership.

Saturday’s intriguing battle at Broadford is behind Romsey, as that synthetic green bears very little resemblance to he surface at Romsey.

It was Romsey skipper Cam Austin’s final bowl which gave Romsey a 63-62 victory with all rinks close; a tie would have seen Broadford, rather than Gisborne, end up in fourth place.

On what has been revealed this season, Broadford and Kilmore need to become more consistent in matches away from their home territory to become regular finals participants.

Reigning premier Kyneton Golf knows more about winning pennants than any of the other contenders this season.

Golf tuned up for the finals with an all rinks up 38 shots up victory at Lancefield on Saturday, and should be well prepared for the big clash at Romsey.

The big occasion is unlikely to impact on Golf, although some of the Golf players would probably prefer a grass surface.

Gisborne skipper Alan Higgins steered his rink to a 25-shot victory against Kilmore, and admitted his side had not been consistent enough in home and away matches, but was looking forward to its first semi-final against Kyneton on Saturday.

Higgins gained a ‘7’ on the final end, and the other Gisborne rinks won by 10 and eight shots to sink the Blues’ hopes.

Full marks to Trentham in the battle for the wooden spoon. Going to Diggers Rest and ending the season with a two-shot victory was a fine performance.

At the time of writing, it was anticipated the knockout first semi-finals on Saturday between Kyneton and Gisborne (division 1) and Kyneton Golf and Gisborne (division 2 ) will be played at Trentham.

Lancefield is at home to Gisborne (3) in the division 3 second semi-final, while the knockout final is between Kilmore and Romsey.
Good luck to all finalists across the board.


Final positions of teams in the three divisions of Highlands pennant bowls are:

Division 1: Romsey 200 points, Kyneton Golf 185, Kyneton 165, Gisborne 123, Broadford 121, Kilmore 121, Lancefield 109, Trentham 67, Diggers Rest 61.

Div. 2: Romsey 166, Kilmore 162, Kyneton Golf 160, Gisborne 158, Macedon 130, Diggers Rest 117, Kyneton 95, Broadford 83, Woodend 81.

Div. 3: Lancefield 199, Gisborne (3) 198, Kilmore 159, Romsey 125, Woodend 122, Macedon 97, Gisborne 90, Kyneton 87, Trentham 75.


Final home and away round results in Highlands area pennant bowls on Saturday were:

Division 1: Broadford 62 lost to Romsey 63 – D. Kelly 20 lost to C. Austin 23,D. Ellis 21 d M. Brundell 17, P. Newell 21 lost to A. Young 23 ; Gisborne 87 d Kilmore 44 – A. Higgins 37 d J. Wiffin 12, P. Williams 30 d D. Noonan 22, T. Wylie 20 d M. McMaster 10; Kyneton Golf 74 d Lancefield 36 –A. Plowman 29 d J. Parks 10, A. Barker 24 d J. Holmes 9, R. Wilkinson 21 d A. Andrews 17; Diggers Rest 56 lost to Trentham 58 – P. Robinson 16 lost to C. McKeone 23, R. Treweek 21 d B. Maher 18, D. Odgers 19 lost to M. Wakefield 20.

Division 2: Kilmore 52 d Gisborne 51 – M. Johnson 16 lost to D. Wesney 17, A. Langdon 17 d R. Newton 18, L. Hodgson 19 d B. Wylie 16; Macedon 62 d Kyneton 53 – B. Halpin 26 d J. Epps 18, G. Dickenson 23 d M. Bermingham 17, I. Guymer 13 lost to D. Fisher 18; Woodend 45 lost to Kyneton Golf 72 – G. Symons 14 lost to J. Trounce 31, T. Lennie 15 lost to G. Williamson 17, N. Bickerdyke 16 lost to C. Scott 24; Romsey 66 d Broadford 48 – J. Beaumont lost to J. Bruce 17, G. Marshall 20 drew wih B. Boulton 20, S. Mayger 31 d L. Barnes 11.

Division 3: Gisborne (4) 39 lost to Lancefield 74 – J. Hunter 13 lost to P. Shannon 26, P. Wellington 8 lost to G. Stewart 20, W. Beardmore 18 lost to K. Webb 28; Kyneton 64 lost to Woodend 67 – J. Wells 14 lost to M. Paterson 24, B. Rowe 22 lost to A. Jewell 30, W. Hartigan 28 d D. Priede 13. Macedon 45 lost to Kilmore 59 – B. Swan 22 d A. Jowett 10, D. Summerfield lost to D. Boyd 30, B. Wasyl 15 lost to C. Wright 19; Trentham 30 lost to Gisborne(3) 92 – B. Brown 5 lost to V. Cyrulo 37, G. Laurie 12 lost to C. Butterley 27, M. Hinneberg 13 lost to T. Woodlock 28.

Footnote: In last week’s Express, Romsey club champions Matt Brundell and Kathy Kirwin were inadvertently not included in the listing of Highlands area clubs.