Deer Park first overcame the weather, then overcame Glenroy, as the Parkers repeated their performance from last year’s division 1 bowls grand final to grab an important win.
Despite most games being called off due to the wintery blast that hit Melbourne on Saturday, both Glenroy and Deer Park were keen to test themselves against each other, and persevered through tough conditions to ensure a result could be gained.
Deer Park president Ray Franksen said it was a credit to both sides that the game even got a start.
“It was more like footy weather than bowls weather out there,” Franksen said.
“It was a very hard day to get through, but we persevered because we’ve got a bit of ‘us and them’ going after the grand final last year.
“We’ve got a nice rivalry going.
“I was a bit worried if we got, say, 30 shots up that the other team manager might have tried to call the game off, but he said he’d never do that and was true to his word, which was great.
“Once we were out there, it was just about blocking everything out of your mind. It was freezing cold, it was raining, hailing, it was windy, but both sides had a job to do, so there was no point whinging about it, just get out there and play.”
Deer Park took the all important win 16 (88) to 2 (74), despite losing one rink 38-14. Strong performances from Robert Doody and Gavin Niclasen ensured the following three rinks were won quite comfortably and delivered the points to the reigning premiers.
“While that one rink got thrashed, we covered ourselves pretty well over the day,” Franksen said. “That’s just bowls sometimes.
“One rink will get thrashed one week and then the next week, it will save you.
“They [Glenroy] were second on the ladder, so we take their spot now.
“It was an important game for us to win, so I’m glad we pushed through the conditions and got a good result.”
Deer Park is one of just two unbeaten sides after three rounds, but Franksen is expecting another tight season – and every win is increasingly valuable.
“We’re in a very even competition, so you’re not going to get an easy game against anyone,” he said.
“We’ve picked up three new recruits, which helps us with our depth; we’ve got another rivalry match this week with Melton, which is another good test for us.
“Overall, I think the whole club is tracking pretty well early in the season.”
All other Saturday games for Deer Park were forced to settle for a draw due to the poor weather.