Deniliquin RSL Bowling Club had both its Division Three and Division Five sides win their way through to the Campaspe Valley Bowls Division grand final on Saturday.
Playing across the road at Deniliquin Bowling Club, Division Three downed minor premier Rich River while Division Five toppled City of Echuca.
It was a see-sawing match all day in Division Three with RSL coming out on top after picking up simultaneous ‘fives’ on two rinks to jump ahead.
The winning ‘threes’ rinks consisted of Neil Buckley (s), Ron Marchetti, Neville Austin and Jim Jennings; Bruce Clancy (s), David Hart, Winnie Pattinson and Chris Frampton; Lee Pattinson (s), Frank Daniels, Craig Hillier and Brian Clancy.
After six ends, Rich River were holding an early lead with team Buckley down 0-6, team Pattinson 2-7 and team Clancy leading 5-4.
When the bell sounded for afternoon tea, teams had only completed eleven ends each, but RSL had rebounded well from their slow start to hold a 32 to 29 overall lead. Team Buckley led 11 to 8, team Clancy led 14 to 8 and team Pattinson had slipped behind 7-13.
When play resumed, Rich River came out firing putting on 10 shots to two over the next two ends. RSL held their nerve and after 18 ends trailed Rich River 48 to 51, with team Buckley 14 to 17, team Pattinson 15 to 20 and team Clancy 19 to 14.
Team Buckley picked up a ‘three’, ‘six’ and ‘one’ over the next four ends to hold a 24 to 18 lead after 22 ends.
Team Clancy dropped a ‘five’ and ‘one’ over the next four ends to hold a slender lead 21 to 20.
Team Pattinson dropped two ‘threes’ to trail 18 to 26, which saw Rich River hold a slender margin 63 to 64 overall.
Team Buckley put the foot down over the last three ends to pick up five shots, holding their opponents scoreless over the last four ends for a comfortable 29 to 18 victory.
At that point, team Pattinson was down 18 to 29 with one end to play, and team Clancy up 21 to 20 with three ends to play.
Both teams declared the head simultaneously, with the crowd erupting with ‘five’ shots on each rink.
Team Pattinson finished 23 to 29 down, which was a good result after trailing all day.
With only two ends to play, Rich River would have had to pull off a miracle and with two shots on the second last end the match was out of reach, needing nine shots to draw level with only eight bowls to play.
Rich River picked up a ‘two’ on the final end with team Clancy finishing the game 26 to 22 up with RSL taking out the match 78 to 69.
Division Three will take on Moama in the decider, to be held in Echuca on Saturday.
Division Five put forward an impressive performance holding a small lead from start to finish against a tough City of Echuca side.
The teams of Rod Reid (s), John Wilson, Graham Gordon and Nick Weller and Kevin Lester (s), John Kemp, Cheryl Bradley and Danny Stanmore made their intentions known early.
Team Reid started well to be 6-1 after four ends but relinquished three shots to hold a 6-4 lead after six ends. A run of six shots over four ends saw them hold 13-7 at the halfway mark.
RSL were looking hard to beat with the score 18 to 10 after 17 ends before Echuca found a patch of form dragging the margin back to 18 to 16 after 21 ends.
RSL were only able to take one shot while Echuca picked up five over the last four ends, to defeat team Reid 19 to 21.
Team Lester were not as comfortable on the next rink early on being 7-all after six ends.
RSL held a small margin, 15 to 11, at the halfway mark, courtesy of a ‘three’ on the 13th end.
Echuca picked up a ‘five’ before RSL answered with a ‘three’ and ‘four’.
Echuca followed this with a ‘two’ with the margin in favour of RSL 22 to 18 after 17 ends.
Echuca tried in vain to cut the margin back, but team Lester was too strong over the concluding stages winning five of the remaining eight ends to record a 28 to 21 victory, giving RSL an overall victory 47 to 42.
Division Five will come up against cross-town rival Deniliquin Bowling Club in Echuca on Saturday.
The RSL Bowls Club club will be organising a bus for players and spectators and is asking everyone to put their names on the list at the club so they can book the correct size bus.
Good luck to all players and a reminder that practice will take place tomorrow from 4.30pm followed by a barbecue.