MORTLAKE Blue bowler George Draffen has one expectation for his side in their Western District Bowls Division clash with Koroit Blue this weekend.
The Lakers skipper wants to see a competitive performance from his mob as the second ranked Lakers host seventh placed Blue in their round five clash at Mortlake on Saturday.
The home side is out to hold on to their top two spot while the visitors are trying to sneak inside the top four.
Draffen, one of the Lakers’ skippers, said Mortlake would have its work cut out for them against last year’s grand finalist.
But he said he was confident their recent form would stack up against the division’s best.
“Koroit are historically one of the top teams, they haven’t won too many games this year but I’d say they’d likely be in the top two or three come the end of the year,” he said.
“They’re one of the benchmarks of the division along with the top City side and the top Warrnambool side so they’ll be hard to beat – they have a very good line-up on paper.
“We’ve been going well but with our home green advantage, it plays a bit different to Koroit, we’ve got to be a chance.
“I reckon we’ll be the underdogs but I’d say we’ll be a good chance.”
The Lakers have lost just the one contest this season, which was a narrow five shot defeat to last year’s premier City Red.
But their performance put the rest of the competition on notice as Mortlake won two of the three rinks of play and nearly stole victory on City’s home turf.
Given they were again facing one of the division’s top clubs, Draffen said it was imperative they showed that performance was not a flash in the pan.
“We need to at least be competitive,” he said.
“We want to be close in all of our rinks and I would hope and I expect we will be.
“We don’t want to be getting belted by 40 shots.”
Draffen said he expects the contest to be “relatively close”, with both sides matching up well on paper.
He said the match could go down to the wire, but wants the Lakers’ “front ends” to set the tone for his side.
“It’s going to depend on the day but we’ve been playing pretty good (lately),” he said.
“Our front ends, our leads and seconds, have been really good so far, that’s usually where the strong sides are really good but with the rinks coming back to 12 we have some pretty good bowlers in there this year.
“On paper it’s a relatively close contest but it’s just going to be whoever is better on the day.”
Alongside his team’s overall performance, Draffen is hoping his rink of Justin Rasmussen, Richard Draffen and Peter Summerhayes can extend their unbeaten run.
So far they have defeated Timboon Gold’s Shayne Pudney, Port Fairy Red’s Steven Gibb, City Red’s Neil Crisp and Warrnambool Blue’s Alan Campbell in their hot start to the year.
“We’ve had a pretty good start but Justin Rasmussen, who has been leading for me, is away this week,” Draffen said.
“I’m not sure who they will bring in, I haven’t seen the teams, but he’s leading really well so that will change the dynamic a bit, but hopefully we can continue on with our form.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have Peter Summerhayes as my third, he was a skip last year and is a very good bowler and is currently in good form.
“He’s been able to get bowls in the head (along with Justin and Richard) which is giving me a chance.”
Selected teams for Saturday pennant round five on November 23:
Division one vs Koroit at home.
C. Goldsworthy, D. Grant, C. Baxter, P. Beardsley; G. Draffen, P. Summerhayes, R. Draffen, K. O’Shannessy; S. Cashill, D. McNicoll, J. Ruddle, A. Wentworth.
Division two vs Lawn Tennis away.
A. Puzey, D. Murray, N. Boyden, I. MacDonald; P. Delaney, M. Heard, L. Smith, C. Inverarity; J. Wallace, P. Palmer, D. Dolling, S. Pierce.
Division four vs City Yellow away.
R. Van Diemen, G. Kenna, B. Mahncke, K. Crosbie; F. Robertson, D. Caudle, N. Smith, D. Sedgley; A. Van Diemen, C. Richie, J. Marney, S. Grinter.
With no pennant last weekend, Mortlake hosted the annual RSL Day.
A good field attended and valuable funds were raised for the RSL’s welfare fund.
The day’s winners were Lyn and Kevin O’Shannessy, Jim Wallace and Clive Baxter.
Over 60s pennant played on Tuesday saw Mortlake record a 95-46 win.
Jim Wallace 40-11 and Max Heard 37-16 both won their rinks, while Ian MacDonald’s combine fell narrowly 18-19.