By Peter Brennan
At Yarra Junction Bowling Club the end of the Pennant season is in sight, and both teams are in vastly different situations. The midweek team has not been lucky this season, losing several early games by the smallest of margins, and has been unable to climb out of the abyss they found themselves in, and that unfortunately affects belief and confidence. They hosted the ladder leader Ferntree Gully, who by contrast are riding high, and it shows, with bold confident bowling paying off, while Junction seemed unable to attract any luck to their endeavours. Luck is such an indefinable but essential aspect of sport, but playing any sport with confidence and belief can lead to good luck. Just ask a Collingwood supporter.
Needless to say, Ferntree Gully ran out strong winners and the club wishes them luck in their quest for the Pennant. Hopefully in the remaining two games the Junction players can rediscover the fun of bowling, which is the reason they are playing in the first place. Some may disagree, but having fun is more important than winning premierships, and one can lead to the other.
The weekend team by contrast has finals firmly in their sights and travelled to Blackburn to play in a beautiful park-like setting, on a warm day with kookaburras enjoying the game. By rights, with Blackburn out of contention, the game should have been a foregone conclusion, but sport doesn’t work like that and it proved a close and exciting match that went down to the wire. In the end, both teams won two rinks, and Blackburn won overall by a narrow margin. It goes to show that anyone can win any game, and although disappointing for Junction there was no material loss. They hold second place and with one game remaining cannot be dislodged. In two weeks they return to play Mitcham who has opened up a huge lead, in a semi-final with a grand final spot as the prize. Next week they play third-placed Upwey-Tecoma at home in the final match of the home and away season. There are three teams battling it out for the fourth spot. It promises to be an interesting final series.
Meanwhile, Barefoot Bowls continues to be popular, attracting good crowds on Fridays who enjoy the summer evenings with the bar open, sausages sizzling, and music playing, while the bowls roll up and down. Come on down, and enjoy yourself.