East survives closes have

February 13, 2017

Josh Thornton’s side was fortunate to gain the win in the Allan Matheson Shield.

In a repeat of East Shepparton’s last match against Hill Top, Josh Thornton’s side was fortunate to gain the win in the Allan Matheson Shield.

East claimed a six-shot victory in round 11 and narrowly escaped defeat by two shots on Saturday.

The Hillbillies had a one shot buffer at the break, but let slip a third straight win, despite winning three of the four rinks.

Hill Top’s Justin Spedding, Jock Hicks and Murray Stark prevailed in their contests, but one successful rink was all East Shepparton needed.

In the final rink to finish, Josh Rudd defeated Brian Coulston by nine shots.

‘‘The last Hill Top game they probably should have beaten us,’’ Thornton said.

‘‘It was one rink that got us off on the day, the rest of the rinks struggled.’’

As the leading skip in the competition, Thornton was defeated for the second week in a row.

Losing by two shots to Spedding, Thornton said his rink is still looking strong leading into the finals.

‘‘The good thing is when we’re not playing well we’re winning and winning ugly is a good sign, we just need to fix up the little things,’’ he said.

Phil Denham made an impact for Kyabram against Nagambie skipping his second top flight game this season.

Supported by third Noel Reddrop, second Graham King and lead Garry Hawking, his rink prevailed against Nagambie coach Paul Nichols.

As Denham recorded an eight-shot victory, David Cartwright tore through Robert Page’s rink.

Bouncing back from a 19-shot loss at the hands of Stanhope’s Shane Walsh last week, Cartwright made sure his rink would play a large role in Saturday’s win.

The only change to the rink line-up was Rob Sceney in at the lead position for Hawking, who moved into Denham’s side.

Along with Bill Hatzie and Mal Williams, the 25-shot victory was influential in the 16-112 to 2-76 win.

The victory technically keeps Kyabram in the running for finals, sitting 20 points behind Nagambie in fourth position with three rounds remaining.

Shepparton RSL’s match-up with Stanhope went to plan, with 37 shots the final winning buffer.

The Rissoles produced a clean sweep of all the rinks with a comparable contribution from all skips.

After being the recipient of some floggings in recent weeks, Shepparton RSL’s Graeme Canobie was able to enjoy a victory against Stanhope’s Greg Fitzpatrick.

His 13-shot victory was the biggest of the day as Gary Mansfield was also impressive in a win against Stanhope’s Neville Cowie.

Stanhope is just 10 points ahead of Hill Top in the battle for the wooden spoon.

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