Reigning Central Highlands division one bowls premiers Gisborne Red had an enviable record of never losing a match on its synthetic green, but a resilient Kyneton Golf put an end to that with a tremendous effort on Saturday.
The “plastic fantastic” surface has been in use for three seasons, and the battle between last year’s grand finalists provided a real talking point to the opening round of the 2018-19 pennant season.
“We had talked about wanting to become the first club to beat Gisborne on this surface,” top Kyneton Golf skipper Anthony Mathison reflected.
Last season Gisborne won the grand final against Kyneton Golf with only one winning rink … Golf had one winning rink on Saturday but it was sufficient to provide a 10-shot overall victory.
Gisborne’s line-up included four players from Glenroy in skipper Darin King, Ethan and Alan Higgins, and Wayne Kennedy.
Golf was primed for a big effort and the victory was largely due to the effort by Mick Kitanovski, Russell Turner, Adrian Plowman and Stephen “Spud”Taylor, who won by 20 shots against Sam Boslem’s quartet.
Plowman and Taylor were back to their vintage form of three seasons ago with great control of weight and line.
Buoyed with a healthy overall lead at the halfway mark, Golf made sure there was no Gisborne revival although the home side managed to secure six points with three rinks up — two by very narrow margins.
Will Gisborne selectors react to this unexpected defeat … there’s an abundance of players to choose from and the Gisborne Yellow side (promoted from division two) put in a commendable performance away to the much vaunted Bacchus Marsh combination which has recruited strongly.
Kyneton Golf is at home to arch rival Kyneton this Saturday while Bacchus Marsh come to Lancefield for another big second round match.
Stronger this season with the return of Bev and Jeff Holmes, Lancefield went to Kyneton for a “must win” game for both sides, with Kyneton having eclipsed the Tigers twice in very tight finishes last season.
On an ideal Kyneton green overall scores were 47-47 at the tea interval, but the visitors gradually forged ahead and seemed to be “home” with a healthy lead advantage late in the game.
Unexpectedly Kyneton picked up 10 shots in two ends (two rinks were in the clubhouse at this stage) and it was anyone’s game.
Lancefield held on, and the outcome hinged on the very last end. Skipper Richard Dwyer needed to trail the jack for Kyneton, but missed, and the Tigers were glad to scrape home.
The Linehan brothers were in good form against Terry Kelly (ex-Trentham) and won by 12, with Aaron Young winning by five against Mark Smoljo. Dwyer and Craig Vincent secured points for Kyneton.
Romsey, not at full strength, did well to defeat a visiting Trentham side by nine shots, with rinks shared. The loss of topliners Lee Wesley and Danny Fortune (to Sunbury) gives other Romsey players the chance to step up this season.
Trentham has welcomed back several players, but face up to a powerful Gisborne Red side with eyes set on maximum points this Saturday. Romsey play Gisborne Yellow at Gisborne.
Kyneton 92 lost to Lancefield 98
M. Smoljo 20 lost to A. Young 25, R. Dwyer 27 d M. Godbolt 23, T. Kelly 18 lost to M. Linehan 30, C. Vincent 27 d J. Holmes 20.
Gisborne Red 86 lost to Kyneton Golf 96
S. Boslem 11 lost to S. Taylor 31, G. Quaife 27 d Ant. Mathison 25, T. Rogers 20 d W. Turner 19, D. King 28 d R. Turner 21.
Romsey 93 d Trentham 84
M. Brundell 32 d Tim Cooke 16, J. Beaumont 20 lost to M. Matricardi 26, C. Austin 19 lost to N. Cooke 23, G. Cuthbert 19 d R. Dobinson 19.
Bacchus Marsh 106 d Gisborne Yellow 82
P. Minniti 28 d D. Bronte 14, S. Cornock lostt to B. Wylie 27, D. Louttit 31 d I. Ross 18, D. Willis 24 d C. Evans 23.
Woodend 88 d Kyneton Blue 51
M. Schafer 43 d J. Wells 9, N. Bickerdyke 27 d W. Hartigan 15, T. Webber 18 lost to N. Rothe 27.
Kyneton Golf 54 lost to Macedon 79
P. Williams 16 lost to I. Guymer 30, J. Trounce 20 lost to Gayle Hobbs 25, R. Birkin 18 lost to G. Hobbs 24.
Diggers Rest 72 d Kyneton Red 62
D. Odgers 26 d P. Ryan 25, E. Nolan 16 lost to J. Carmichael 19, B. Reidy 30 d R. Short 18.
Bacchus Marsh 72 d Gisborne 66
B. Steenholdt 35 d F. Roche 18, C. McAuliffe 21 lost to R. Newton 26, A. Martin 16 lost to R. Black 22.
Kilmore 67 d Trentham 66, Macedon 82 d Kyneton 69, Romsey 79 d Woodend 63, Lancefield 65 lost to Bacchus Marsh 74, Gisborne d Diggers Rest on forfeit.