Thursday, 18 April 2024
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Lindenow makes bowls history

Lindenow makes bowls history

For the first time in the club’s 50-year history, Lindenow Bowls Club has three teams competing in the East Gippsland Bowls Division Saturday pennant grand finals to be held at Bairnsdale Bowls Club tomorrow.

This is also the first time that a Lindenow division one team has made it past the semi finals.

In division one, Lindenow will take on Bairnsdale Blue while Lakes Entrance will fight it out against Bairnsdale Blue in division two.

In divisions three and four, Lindenow and Lindenow Blue will take on Lakes Entrance White and Bairnsdale Blue respectively.

For decades, the lawn bowls finals have been well represented by the larger clubs, with championship pennants persistently being won by clubs like Lakes Entrance or Bairnsdale, who have historically had large pools of members to select from. Smaller clubs, like Lindenow, have struggled for many years to get the numbers to place teams in each division – with some small clubs in East Gippsland only able to field one team in total this year, while the larger clubs field at least one, two and on occasion three teams in each of the four divisions.

That being said, the large clubs have supported Lindenow with participation in tournaments, use of facilities and equipment and general collaboration on projects, and realistically many of the smaller clubs may not be here today without their support.

Lindenow Bowls Club’s Simon Alleaume, says a lot of hard work has paid off.

“It means we have had to work harder and more efficiently at improving the skills of the limited amount of members we have, in order to reach this historic milestone,” Alleaume said.

“This has also meant our team selectors have had a hard task this season to ensure that the best teams are fielded for each week, and this weekend’s event is a testament to that hard work.”

Lindenow has looked to its corporate bowls competition as a key source of rising stars for its pennant representation, and hopes that more and more bowlers, both young and old, develop an interest in this growing sport.

Lindenow Bowls Club’s president and division one skipper, Ray Barry, says he is looking forward to what should be a tight contest.

“I am so proud of how the members have rallied together to achieve this great outcome,” Barry said.

“I am so honoured to lead this group of quality lawn bowlers who have shown great strength and determination to overcome the odds in this achievement.

“I hope they all enjoy this moment in history, and I wish them all the very best this weekend.”

The first time Bairnsdale Blue and Lindenow played each other was back in round three where Bairnsdale Blue cruised to a 14-88 to 0-60 win.

Round 11 was cancelled due to the bushfires.

Bairnsdale Blue’s road through the final series has seen it defeat Lakes Entrance Gold in the semi final, 92-56, booking itself a grand final berth.

For Lindenow, a win over Bairnsdale Golf, 80-61, in the semi final and a close call over Lakes Entrance Gold (65-59) sees them in the grand final.

In his last season as president, East Gippsland Bowls Division president, John Lewis, believes the division one game could go either way.

“It’s Lindenow’s first time in a grand final and that’s a fantastic effort,” Lewis said.

“It will be a very tight game but in the end I think experience will come forward and Bairnsdale Blue will win.”

Lewis says that its fantastic smaller clubs like Lindenow are challenging the bigger sides.

“For the competition it’s absolutely enormous and it goes to prove that years ago they were a small town with not many bowlers,” Lewis said.

“To do what they’ve done over the past three to four years has been nothing short of extraordinary.

“They are a very progressive club and I wish them all the very best because all of our clubs need to do the same for the East Gippsland Bowls Division to survive.”

In what has been an interrupted season due to the bushfires, Lewis says that he is pleased with how all the clubs handled the situation. “We were pretty fortunate really that we only lost one week with the bushfires,” he said.

“As far as the competition went, unfortunately Swifts Creek had to bow out once the fires started because they couldn’t get down.

“It was disappointing that we got interrupted but overall I think the competition was pretty good.”

Lewis tips Bairnsdale Blue to win division two, Lakes Entrance White to claim division three and Bairnsdale Blue to secure division four.

DIVISION TWO

Lakes Entrance will head into the grand final against Bairnsdale Blue as favourites after finishing on top of the ladder in the home and away season with a record of 11 wins and two losses. Lakes secured two more wins, then Bairnsdale Blue who it defeated in round two and nine comfortably.

The semi final between the two sides was closely contested but like the two previous encounters, Lakes Entrance clawed away to 70-66 win.

DIVISION THREE

In division three, Lakes Entrance White finished the season with nine wins and four losses while Lindenow was in second with an 8-5 record.

In round three, Lakes Entrance White defeated Lindenow by 10 shots. Round 11 was abandoned due to the bushfires.

In the semi final, Lindenow got its revenge with a 56-59 win.

With both teams with one win apiece heading into tomorrow, it’s anybody’s game.

DIVISION FOUR

Bairnsdale has had the wood over Lindenow Blue this season, winning its round three contest comfortably. In round 12, Bairnsdale cruised to a 56-39 win. Bairnsdale finished the home and away season on top of the ladder with a record of 10-3, while Lindenow Blue finished fourth with a record of 6-7. Could Lindenow be saving its best game for last? Only time will tell.

IMAGE: Lindenow division one bowler, Donald Banks, will play an important role for the Cockies tomorrow when they square off against Bairnsdale Blue in the East Gippsland Bowls Division Saturday pennant grand final at the Bairnsdale Bowls Club. (PS)


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