Mullewa show strength in Batavia Bowling League men’s pennants, home win for Geraldton at pairs open day

Joe CriddleGeraldton Guardian
Mike Ford and Dave McQuade.
Camera IconMike Ford and Dave McQuade. Credit: Supplied

They say the harder you work, the luckier you get.

It is certainly the case for the Mullewa Bowling Club, which won a fifth victory in a row last Saturday to stay top of the Batavia Bowling League men’s pennants competition after seven rounds.

They hosted Denison Blue last Saturday, taking two of the three rinks to win 5-1 with a healthy 32-shot aggregate differential, 77-45.

Saints have been strong for the past six seasons, playing division one finals in 2018 and 2019 for the first time in three decades, while the division two squad made the play-offs last year for the first time since the club started in 1959.

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The dedication of the group is unparalleled within the region with up to up to 16 players on the green in match-type action in Geraldton for Thursday afternoon training, while the rest of the group roll on the home surface 96km away.

Their run of wins follows an indifferent start to the campaign.

The Saints took two premiership points in an opening-round loss to Wonthella Gold and none against Geraldton Gold in the next round. They have taken 27 points since, with a massive plus 148 shots, moving from second last to first as the clear form team.

Mullewa also has the top two-ranked teams, with six wins in seven, each. Paul Johnson, Nino Messina and Adrian Regan McAuliffe ran hot against the rink skippered by Barry Sweetman last round, while Mick Thompson, Steve Aarts, Glen Bryant and Terry Koltasz beat Alan French’s side.

In the other matches, Geraldton Gold moved from fourth to second on percentage with a full-points, 63-51 result over Northampton.

Third-placed Wonthella Green lost 1-5 to Geraldton Blue at Geraldton.

Geraldton Red won won 5-1 (54-47) against Wonthella Maroon, while Wonthella Gold gained the aggregate against Denison White.

The annual Young Motors Pairs Open at Geraldton Bowling Club attracted capacity fields for a fifth year in succession this month, with 36 sides competing from every club in the Batavia Bowling League.

Steve Palmer and Wes Jones.
Camera IconSteve Palmer and Wes Jones. Credit: Supplied

The three greens played brilliantly in ideal conditions with the standard of play equal to any gala event in WA.

When results were tallied, the host club’s pairing of Mick Ford and Dave McQuade, pictured, prevailed after four very constant performances over the day. They ended up with 27 points from the available 28.

Second place was taken out by composite duo of Steve Palmer and Wes Jones, who played brilliantly to survive a nailbiter in the final encounter, collecting 24 points plus 22 shots.

Third placed were Geraldton’s Jeff Eaton and Lawrence Brooks, who finished strong with a 22-point tally and 20 shots up.

A side from the host venue also won fourth place, with Merv Grigsby and Dave Hunt collecting 22 points plus 11.

The Pepper family have been associated with the event for 41 years, since 1980, first with Gerry Pepper and wife Val who were members at the time, before son Ken took over.

That continued this year.

Current sponsor Jeremy Pepper is the third generation of the family to support the event.

The next major entry on the league calendar is Sunday’s champion of champions fours day at Wonthella.

Club champions from all venues will compete for the honour of the women’s and men’s titles.

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