Gisborne’s division 1 premiership in the Central Highlands Bowls Division wasn’t just for those who played on Saturday – it was also for everyone who has played for the club.
After making the division 1 grand final for the first time last season, Gisborne had a steely determination all year to go one better and win its first division 1 premiership.
Facing Lancefield on Saturday in the grand final, undefeated Gisborne was always going to be tested by the side that had pushed it the hardest all year.
Two rink wins, including an 11-shot win to Graham Quaife’s rink, was enough for Gisborne to seal a 97-85 shot victory.
Matthew Bacon skippered Gisborne’s other winning rink in a 25-19 win against Jeff Holmes. The teams of Glenn Johnston jnr and Peter Linehan couldn’t be split in the third rink, with the sides finishing 22 apiece. Michael Linehan claimed the only rink win for Lancefield, defeating Darren Fletcher 27-22.
The flag win capped off an almost perfect season for Gisborne’s top team. The only thing that prevented a clean sweep was rain, which meant the clash between Gisborne and Lancefield earlier in the season was called off midway through the day and declared a draw.
Gisborne’s Glenn Johnston jnr said that this year everything went their way in the grand final.
“It was a really hard-fought effort with nothing between us all day,” he said.
“A few little things went our way towards the end. We were 12, 15 shots up late and it was nice to have that little bit of breathing room.”
Johnston said the players had learnt from the experience of 12 months earlier and had put in place a few things that had worked. He said it was a monkey-off-the-back scenario, with the club in recent times having had six teams fall at the last hurdle.
He said it had been special to have so many past and present players travel to Kyneton for the grand final and back at the club later on.
“We had 50 to 60 supporters watching us,” he said. “We’ve had a few players around the club for a long time. Graham Quaife, who was the standout yesterday, has been at the club for 30 years and played in a lot of bad Gisborne teams.”
Gisborne joins Bacchus Marsh and Lancefield, which won the division 2 and division 3 title, as the CHBD Saturday pennant premiers this season.