Altona makes no secret of the joy it gets out of beating Melbourne in the Bowls Victoria premier division.

The long time rivals have been involved in some classic matches over the years and Saturday’s game was another interesting chapter.

It was Altona’s turn to taste victory and they lapped it up.

“Melbourne’s been a rival for a fair while,” A’s skip Brett Foley said.

“The song is sung with a bit of gusto when you beat Melbourne.

“It was a big game, so the boys are relieved and pretty happy.”

Altona’s 87-77 victory at Civic Parade was its second in a row.

The second-placed A’s have opened up a 10-point gap over third-placed Deer Park.

They are a hefty 18-points clear of Melbourne.

Winning a tight game, irrespective of the opponent, was big for Altona.

“We haven’t really won a close one all year, so we were pretty pleased to finally win one,” Foley said.

“They’re chasing us [in the standings] and we’ll now put a gap on them.

“It’s really good to get away with a win against a quality team like that.”

Altona finished with three rinks up.

While it looks comfortable for the A’s on paper, it was anything but.

Leigh McIlvenny had the biggest rink win for Altona, defeating Bryce Young 28-17.

McIlvenny’s victory was only sealed on the second-last end.

Brett Foley had a go-to-whoa 21-15 win over Ben Fearn, while Nathan Wilson pipped Matthew Ellul 19-16.

Brad Peck was the only beaten A’s skip, flattened 29-19 by Curtis Hanley.

Altona will continue its pursuit of Bundoora RSL when they travel to Caulfield Park on Saturday.

The Caulfield side is mired in a relegation scrap, but that makes them no less dangerous.

“You can’t take any team lightly in this comp,” Foley said.

“Even though they’re second-last, they really need the points.

“Every game is a final for them.”

Meanwhile, Yarraville-Footscray, another side in the vicinity of the relegation zone, picked up an important 87-81 win over cellar dweller Lilydale.