Parkers’ finals hope still on life support

December 18, 2017

Concentration: Shepparton Park's Leigh Clark hopes for the perfect delivery as he lets go of the bowl.

Shepparton Park remains in the hunt for a division one finals berth after falling over the line against Hill Top on Saturday.

The Parkers — usually perennial performers in the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division — have struggled to get going this season, winning just one match to the halfway point of the campaign.

But Mark Ryan’s charges took a step in the right direction at the weekend with a tight 14-85 to 4-84 triumph over the Hillbillies to double their season tally.

Ryan’s rink struggled against Hill Top’s Jock Hicks, going down 13-24, while Glenn Thatcher (15-19) also found himself on the losing side of the ledger, but a solid victory from Kris Ferguson (26-21) and a dominant performance from Leigh Clark (31-20) was enough for the away side to claim the win.

The Parkers still remain 14 points outside the top four in sixth, with the Hillbillies holding down fifth spot, but will enter the Christmas break with momentum.

Kyabram continues to prove itself as the most damaging side in the region with another huge victory, this time against Stanhope.

David Cartwright showed why he is one of the best bowlers in the competition with a 43-15 rink win, while Greg Shilling (28-12) and Rob Sceney (28-16) also had big wins in the 16-121 to 2-74 success.

Stanhope’s Rob Armstrong made sure his side’s trip to Kyabram bore some fruit at least with a 31-22 victory.

Cartwright’s troops have easily the best shot difference in the division at plus 129, 40 ahead of Shepparton Golf’s plus 89.

Nagambie could not manage to turn the tables on Seymour from the round one clash between the two sides, once again losing by a small margin.

The Lakers claimed two rink victories in the 4-97 to 14-108 loss, but could not do enough to take overall honours.

In his first game as a division one skipper Jack Spencer repaid the faith of his selectors with a 26-22 win, while Daniel Nichols (27-24) also found success, but a 22-33 loss for previously undefeated coach Paul Nichols and a 22-29 defeat for Greg Brack turned the tide of the contest towards the home side.

Nagambie could have almost sewn up a finals berth with a strong victory, but in a stat that highlights how even this season of the competition is, the fourth-placed side sits just 23 points ahead of cellar-dweller Stanhope.

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