Deer Park will make a return to the Bowls Victoria premier division’s penultimate weekend for a second year running.

The Parkers overcame a sluggish start to overrun Bundoora RSL in a 77-70 win on neutral greens in the semi-final at the Yarraville-Footscray Bowling Club on Saturday to book their place in the preliminary final.

Parkers president Neil Cromie said his side seems to lift another level when the finals come around.

In a worrying sign, Deer Park stalled out of the blocks in the cut-throat clash with Bundoora RSL. The Parkers seemed a little overawed by the occasion and found themselves trailing early.

“The first five ends, they came out a lot stronger than we did,” Cromie said.

“They really had their game going early.”

If there is one trait that Deer Park hangs its hat on, it is its ability to battle through the rough periods.

“The players we’ve got are prepared to hang in,” Cromie said.

“We stuck with them, hung on, pegged it back and once we hit the lead we slowly increased it to the point where we got about 14 up with not many ends to play.”

State player Brett Mahoney steered Deer Park to a memorable victory.

Mahoney’s rink, which included new lead Josh Barry, Adam Berry and Ray Morrissey, had a resounding 27-12 win.

“He’s a great bowler, a great player,” Cromie said of Mahoney. “He’s going for the state championships to represent the region and he’s in the state squad.”

James Pearce, with Wayne Pretty, Samantha Shanahan and Andrew Myers on board, was the Parkers other winning rink, finishing up 17-13.

Deer Park will now take on Clayton in the preliminary final on Saturday, with the winner to take on minor premiers Essendon in the grand final.



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