DROUIN won a captivating West Gippsland Bowls Division one grand final by a single shot over Traralgon last Tuesday at Trafalgar.
A large crowd set the atmosphere throughout a tense match, which Drouin stubbornly claimed 60-59.
The result hinged on the final end between Traralgon’s Wendy Scott, Shirley Whitechurch, Faye Minter and Dianne Richards and Drouin quartet Maureen Leighton, Margaret Rhodes, Paula Langille and Sheryl Atkinson on rink 12.
Leighton was in fine form early and after 10 ends had helped build a lead of 12-3.
Scott picked up five shots on the 15th end to claw the deficit back to 9-16, and continued to flourish to level scores 16 all by the 20th end.
Far from overwhelmed, Leighton steadied to claim the next three ends to draw out to a 20-16 advantage.
When Scott won the 24th end to make the rink 17-20, the overall match score sat at 59 shots apiece, and with all other rinks completed the 25th end was the final frontier on the battleground.
The leads, seconds and thirds from each team bowled and on reading the head Drouin was one shot up with the skips to play their two bowls each.
The large crowd was on tenterhooks as were the two skips, combating nervous tension ahead of their final bowls.
Scott’s first made no impression and Leighton was unable to improve the score.
Scott’s second bowl went through the head and Leighton was left holding her second bowl, which – much to her relief – she did not have to play with her side a shot ahead.
The gripping finale was a fitting end to a classic tussle, which was set up by some equally uncompromising play on the other rinks.
On rink 11 the Traralgon team of Dettie Wylie, Dianne Bau, Glad Cornwall and Pat Trewin drew Margaret Ratcliffe, Heather Bullen, Pauline Appleyard and Janice Peever.
The game was evenly poised until the 15th end when Ratcliffe picked up four shots to make it 15-12 in her favour.
Wylie, however, clawed her way back and won the rink with a final score of 23-18.
On rink 13 Kaye Garry, Marion Cartledge, Marje Lawrence and Val Crane of Traralgon drew the Drouin foursome of Denise Hamilton, Lyn Jeffrey, Lyn Rippon and Helen Gaff.
Hamilton was quick to dominate and at the sixth end the score was 10-2 in her favour.
Garry’s team, thanks largely to Cartledge’s consistency – rallied and on completion of the 18th end the score was 16 shots all.
Gaff was leading well and Hamilton played a brilliant shot on the 20th end to put the jack in the ditch to edge ahead 18-16.
Garry hit the lead again at the 22nd end 19-18, but Hamilton was able to finish stronger to register a final score of 21-19.
WGBD Midweek Pennant Grand Finals
Tuesday 3 March at Trafalgar Bowls Club
Drouin 60 d Traralgon 59
Morwell 66 d Yallourn (2) 61
Traralgon RSL (2) 95 d Warragul (2) 52
Longwarry 41 d Morwell (3) 32