Gisborne is hitting form at the right time in Central Highlands Bowls top grade, knocking off a fellow finals contender for the second time in three weeks.
After impressively winning against Kyneton Golf in round 10 and getting the job done against the bottom side last week, Gisborne had a challenge on its hand against Bacchus Marsh Gold.
The two sides entered the round in the top two spots, but such is the closeness of the top four a loss could have seen either side fall two or three spots.
Gisborne president Ian Ball said it was only in the final few ends that his club managed to take control of the match.
Gisborne eventually won 105 (16)-94 (2).
“We only got on top in the last four or five ends,” he said. “In my opinion, there’s nothing between the top four teams – it’s just performances on the day. I think the home ground advantage helped a little.”
Sam Boslem’s rink was the big winner on the day, 35-19, while Graham Quaife and Darren Fletcher also had wins.
Glenn Arthur led the winning rink for Gold.
Ball said getting the win was important in trying to get a top two finish and secure a double finals chance.
Gisborne is five points clear of second-placed Kyneton Golf. Bacchus Marsh Gold has slipped to fourth after the loss.
Ball said there had been a renewed focus from his club in the back half of the season and it was showing on the green.
He said that, and having stable line-ups, had been a key.
“The level of intensity in the players has come up,” he said. “They are putting more time and effort on the green coming up to finals time.
“We’re fortunate that our second side is up there and everyone is pushing each other. Both the second and first sides are settled, which helps.
“We’re bumping along nicely at the right time. We’re not over confident, as any team can beat anyone on their day.”
Gisborne will face Lancefield and Trentham in its final matches before finals. Both sides are outside the top four, but Ball said they were still wary.
Two of Gisborne’s four sides look set to make finals, with the thirds and fourths outside their top fours.
Ball said that even though those sides had not been having results go their way, there was plenty of good signs.
“Our third division side is struggling a bit, but there’s a lot of new bowlers in that team,” he said.
“We’re giving them a go and they’re enjoying it. We’ve got a lot of new members across the club.”
Kyneton, Kyneton Gold and Lancefield were the other winners at the weekend.