Kyneton worthy premiers in CHBD

Kyneton’s division one bowlers threw off the tag of being under achievers by winning the 2019-20 Central Highlands grand final by seven shots against Lancefield on Saturday.
After being thrashed by the Tigers by 47 shots in the second semi-final on February 22, Kyneton re-grouped to easily win the preliminary final against Kyneton Golf, then take control of the grand final with a brilliant burst across the board just after the tea break.
Buoyed by a blowout lead of 25 shots overall, Kyneton resisted a surge by Lancefield, led by Peter Linehan’s rink scoring 12 shots in three ends.
The premiership breaks a 10-year drought for Kyneton in the top division. Diggers Rest took out the division two title with a 19-shot victory over Kyneton, and Trentham held off Lancefield in a tight division three contest.
The division one finale to Saturday pennant was played at Kyneton Golf, with heavy rain during the week understandably slowing the green to a pace well below the slick surface Lancefield players were so enthused about in the second semi-final.
On that occasion Kyneton “failed to fire” and was well down in all rinks, but it was a different performance this time.
Although Lancefield established an early edge, Kyneton managed to hold a small advantage at the afternoon break in cool and windy conditions, with no-one predicting the Kyneton blitz on resumption
Kyneton supporters on the sidelines were in celebratory mode from well into the second half to when the last bowl went down. Lancefield simply had too many shots to resurrect.
The Tigers never gave up, and each side ended up with two winning rinks. The 12 shot margin by Andy MacDonald’s rink against the season’s leading skipper Jeff Holmes proved decisive overall. The other three rinks were all close (see full scores this page).
“I don’t know what happened a fortnight ago…team success is always what you want,” Kyneton’s Richard Dwyer said in accepting the premiership shield from CHBD president Ian Ball, and handing it to Kyneton chairman Bob Short.
Ball pointed out it was 39 years since these two sides had played off in a grand final, and said Kyneton’s second half of the season had been excellent.
He also referred to the wide age bracket across the winning line-up (second year bowler Len Dengelo was the youngest, and there was a wide degree of experience. Keith Reaper has now been a premiership player as a lead, second, third and skipper across the years.
Dwyer complimented Lancefield on being impressive all season (four wins out of four against Kyneton until the grand final) and said his club and players had put a big effort into the premiership push since the second semi-final setback.
Kyneton’s premiership celebrations continued well into the night, with Lancefield reflecting on what might have been — a fine effort by the Tigers to have both of its sides in grand finals.
Diggers Rest finished on top of the second division ladder, and adapted well to the change from synthetic to grass in the finals, defeating Kyneton by 42 shots in the semi-final, and by 19 at Trentham on Saturday.
On each occasion Diggers Rest finished with all fours up, and the club has indicated it would be happy to play in the top division if there were only 12 players in a team.
So close again
The division three finals series has been highlighted by the closeness of the contests – one shot margins in both semi-finals, six in the preliminary final, and seven on Saturday after scores were tied very late in the match.
Scores between Trentham and Lancefield were locked at 31-31 at the break, and the tight contest on the Kyneton green continued with all rinks close. Scores fluctuated on resumption, and with a few ends to play, it was level again, but four shots to Max Hinneberg proved decisive.
Trentham ended up worthy winners, playing some big bowls at crucial moments – Rod Justice emulated his second semi-final effort and Nancy Walsh and Jim Greenwood also played game changers.
Sue Holmes, trailing 12-6 at one stage, fought back strongly to win by three shots for Lancefield, while Trentham won the other rinks.
CHBD secretary Ian Guymer presented the premiership shield to Trentham manager Ken Robbins.

Trentham victorious division three lineup…another premiership for one of the smaller clubs in Central Highlands.
Happiness is … another premiership! Jubliant Trentham stalwarts Irene Bruton (at left) and Nancy Walsh straight after the division three grand final.

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