Mortlake shakes up ladder

MORTLAKE Blue ended Terang Green’s unbeaten run and Koroit Blue knocked off top-placed Warrnambool Gold in an intriguing Western District Bowls Division round on Saturday.

FOLLOW MY LEAD: Lawn Tennis Red skipper Ian Prout helped his rink to a strong win as the side settled for a draw against City Memorial Gold. Picture: Anthony Brady

Lowly pair City Memorial Gold and Lawn Tennis Red also played out a draw.

Mortlake Blue improved its win-loss record to 4-4 –it won three of its first four matches –after surprising the in-form Terang Green.

GALLANT: Terang Green skipper John Gherashe helped his rink to a win over Mortlake Blue but it was the host team which snared overall points. Picture: Vicky Hughson

Terang Green slipped from second spot on the ladder to fourth following the 89-84 defeat at Mortlake.

Koroit Blue, which has found its spark after a slow start to the season, jumped to third on the back of its 101-88 triumph over Warrnambool Gold.

The 2014-15 runner-up won two rinks –John Murnane defeated Glen McNaughton 33-15 and Brian Lenehan downed Paul O’Donnell 24-16.

A three-shot win over Port Fairy Red was enough to give perennial finalist City Memorial Red second spot with one round to play before the Christmas break.

Mortlake Blue skipper George Draffen said the side was rapt with its narrow win over Terang Green.

Rinks were split, ensuring the result went down-to-the-wire.

Don Grant (25-22) and Ian McDonald (32-12) were successful for Mortlake Blue, while John Gherashe (25-21) and Jamie Heffernan (25-11) saluted for Terang Green.

Draffen admitted he was outplayed by Heffernan.

But he said his teammates rallied. The final result came down to the final handful of ends.

“At afternoon tea my rink was 15 down and our other three rinks were up,” Draffen said.

“We were down by three or four shots overall.

“My job was to not get further behind, to get a few shots back.

“Ian’s rink got further and further ahead and they ended up winning by 20 and we lost by 14, so that (McDonald’s effort) covered us.”

Mortlake Blue is in the top-fourhunt, sitting sixth after eight rounds.

Draffen said it had experienced a tough draw to this point and had the potential to enter the finals mix, given the evenness of the competition.

“We haven’t played Warrnambool White, Lawn Tennis and Timboon and they are all sides below us on the ladder,” he said.

“We beat all of them last year so we give ourselves some chance.

“Realistically they are the games we have to win if we want to be any chance of playing finals.”

In other games, Dennington Red proved too strong for Warrnambool White, winning 95-78, and Warrnambool Blue trounced Timboon Gold 115-77.

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