Sport

Parkers have a free shot

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February 26, 2018

Saturday’s match may have been marked as a loss for Shepparton Park, but it has let the Parkers live to fight another week.

Saturday’s match may have been marked as a loss for Shepparton Park, but it has let the Parkers live to fight another week.

In direct competition with Nagambie for a spot in the finals, Mark Ryan’s men had plenty to play for against Kyabram.

They were not able to take the most points, but securing two rink wins would help it retain fourth spot.

Park only jumped into finals contention following last week’s defeat of East Shepparton, and in total the side has only spent three weeks in the top four.

But Ryan said his side entered the finals without the weight of expectation.

‘‘We’re in the four even though a lot of people wrote us off, so it’s a free shot,’’ he said.

‘‘It adds a lot to what we want to try and achieve at the end of the year and the really exciting thing is we have nothing to lose.

‘‘Everyone has been running around on top or second top for most of the year and we’ve been outside the four, so there’s no pressure.’’

The Parkers will return to Kyabram for a semi-final against East Shepparton, playing on the adjacent rink to where they competed on Saturday.

Having been defeated overall 14-93 to 4-85 on Saturday, Ryan was joined by Jarryd Tinning as the skips of the winning rinks.

Tinning defeated Greg Shilling by six shots, with Ryan overcoming Philip Denham 31-21, despite dropping a maximum eight on one end.

‘‘Darren Kelly played exceptionally well (as third in Ryan’s rink) and set us up and that was the same in Tinno’s rink, with Josh Warren (lead) who bowled really well,’’ Ryan said.

The coach is hopeful the full four bowlers in one rink can rise in the finals series.

Kyabram coach David Cartwright belted Jeff Anselmi by 15 shots, with Rob George cleaned up Leigh Clark by nine.

‘‘Definitely the lead and second need to lift a bit (in Anselmi’s and Clark’s rinks) and hopefully they’ll step it right up and have some better leads to give the thirds another opportunity,’’ Ryan said.

Kyabram relinquished the minor premiership by a sole point to Shepparton Golf, with Cartwright’s charges focused on a semi-final against the two-time reigning premier in Stanhope.

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