Well, after the week off, what a whopping weekend of bowls to decide the 20/21 grand finalists in Bowls Wimmera Weekend competitions.
All the permutations and possibilities that I wrote about a fortnight before came to nothing. With the cancellation of the final round, all teams received eight points, and the final positions on the ladder were as they were after round 13.
The first and second semi-finals were played on Saturday, and the preliminaries were played on Sunday in a massive weekend of bowls.
And so the deciders are between Horsham City 1 and Horsham Golf 1 at Natimuk in Division 1, Sunnyside 2 and Nhill 2 in Division 2 at Dimboola and Horsham City 4 and Nhill 3 at Natimuk in Division 3
In Division 1, the second semi and preliminary Finals were played at two Division 2 rinks, Goroke and Natimuk, because those two rinks were considered the best available and for equality of travel. Few of the bowlers would have bowled on those greens this season, so it was the ultimate test of a bowlers ability to adapt and provided absolute neutrality.
In the second semi-final at Goroke, Nhill 1 got out to a break, then reports were that City 1 were 8 or 9 up at the 12 end break, then it tightened up a bit, but City kicked away to win by 13 shots.
A couple of rinks which might have gone the unexpected way, City's Hux Mitchell rink up by five against Alan King and his team, Graeme Lynch, won by two over Kevin Clyne to give Nhill that rink.
But the decider was the 10-shot win to Ron Dolby, Govan Bellinger, Anthony King and skipper Daniel Gloury over Fox Jones rink, and that will see City play its umpteenth Grand Final.
Back in town, Horsham Golf 1 was, I was told, playing its first final since the 1980s, and led by a masterful performance from Ash Batchelor, they defeated Coughlin Park 1 by 16 shots.
After 10 ends, Adam Galpin, Brad Robinson, Geoff Bald and Batchelor were up 26-2, and even though Coughlin Park picked up five shots by taking one of the other two rinks, and Batchelor's opponents stemmed the bleeding and got the margin back to 21 shots, the match was always going Golfs way.
In Division 2, Nhill 2 had been runaway leaders all year but came back to earth with a 32 shot loss to Sunnyside 2 at Natimuk.
The Nhill rink of Jeff Fritsch had a two-shot win, but 12 and 22 shot wins to Barry McIntyre, and John Ackland saw the Siders grand final bound.
The vanquished Nhill team were consigned to the preliminary to play Horsham Golf 2, who won the close one, getting up by two shots over Horsham City 3.
A 9 shot loss and a 10 shot win to the Golfers on two of the rinks, but Trevor Ough, Zac Stephan, Ray Gilmartin and skipper Kevin Walsh held their nerve to get home one shot up on the decisive rink.
Horsham City 4 made it two City sides in the big dance by winning their Division 3 Second semi, a one-shot win and a tie, but the seven-shot win on Ian Fisher's rink was the big contributor to the win.
Kaniva can look forward to their trips down the highway in the footy season, but their number 2 side won't have to do it for bowls as they went down to Horsham Golf 3 by 21 shots. Bruce Meyer flew the flag for the northerners, but 15 and 18 shot wins to Mike John, and Marty Montgomery on the rinks they skipped led the way and set up a unique preliminary final super Sunday where Nhill and Horsham Golf met in all three Divisions.
In the division 1 preliminary reigning Premiers Nhill lead early, they were only ahead on Fox Jones rink, then Golf got their nose in front and then got a six which stretched it out to half a length, and then they kicked away.
The final margin was 24 shots and a win on each rink, by six and seven shots and an 11 shot margin to Trevor Wood, Craig Bennett, Danny Schmidt and skipper Graeme O'Connor.
Golf will take good form into the Grand Final, they defeated Horsham City just a few rounds ago, and they will relish playing on the big Natimuk green again.
Across on the next rink at Natimuk Nhill 2 were too good for Horsham Golf 2, and with the two matches, a large crowd and perfect weather and conditions, it was a wonderful atmosphere in the shadow of the mountain.
Nhill 2 took every rink, a couple of two-shot wins, but Barry Schultz, Daryl Leyonjhelm, Clint Beattie and skipper Trevor Merrett did the most damage to win by 12.
Nhill 3 will get another crack at City 4 in the Division 3 grand final after taking a six-shot win over Golf 3. There wasn't a close rink. Golf got the biggest winning rink with a 15 shot win to Marty Montgomery's men. But Nhill's depth was too much, and there was a nine shot win to Jacky Pryors' rink and 12 shot margin to Ken Pilgrim against Esme Wood.
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