The Benalla Bowls Club’s A1 and B1 sides have won their Midweek Pennant grand finals, to round out their dominant seasons.
The B1 side won a commanding game by 40 shots after a fairytale run, making the finals on the back of being 4th going into the last round and losing their last game by two shots.
The fifth-placed side lost to the bottom team and allowed Benalla to scrape into 4th spot and into the finals by the skin of its teeth.
In the elimination final Benalla was at one stage as much as 28 shots behind Beechworth and looked like it would be defeated and removed from the finals race, only to stage a monumental fightback to get within five shots on the final end and take out the unlikely victory.
The momentum had certainly swung to Benalla’s advantage by the grand final with a crushing 40-shot victory over Rutherglen’s gallant side, with all three rinks winning convincingly and handing Benalla what seemed to be an unlikely result only three weeks earlier.
Benalla’s A1 side fought tooth and nail in the grand final with Y.M.G.C.R in what was a tight battle for the majority of the game.
Early in the game Bill Armstrong got out to a six-shot lead and Sharron Warfe’s team a five-shot lead.
Benalla’s coach Matt Robertson was trailing champion skipper Anne Miles by seven shots, which went back and forth all afternoon until Benalla got out to a comfortable lead of about 22 shots with 12 ends to play.
The drama wasn’t totally over with Bill Armstrong’s rink dropping 11 shots on its last two ends to go down by two shots after doing an amazing job all day.
Sharron fought hard until the end to win by eight shots and Matt Robertson’s rink also rallied to win by nine and run out overall winners by 15 shots in a thrilling A1 Grand Final.
It has been a great year for Benalla Bowls Club, with five teams out of nine making finals, two bowing out in preliminary finals and three winning grand finals — the weekend A1 team and the midweek A1 and B1 teams.
The Benalla Bowls Club will also be representing Benalla and the Ovens and Murray region in the state pennant finals in April and May. Last year the A1 midweek side managed runner-up in the state so the team has its eyes firmly set on going one step better.