MORTLAKE Blue selector Darren Grant has conceded his side now faces an uphill battle to reach the Western District Bowls Division pennant finals after losing a game it needed to win last Saturday.
The Lakers welcomed reigning premier City Red to Mortlake knowing they needed to defeat their highly fancied opponent to remain in the hunt for a top four berth.
However, City dealt the Lakers’ hopes a blow with a victory which has left Mortlake now needing two wins and a string of results to go their way.
“We have to rely on one of the other teams (such as Koroit Blue, Timboon Gold or City Gold) losing both games,” Grant said.
“We’re all pretty similar but we play Koroit in the last round after we both have winnable games this weekend so one of us will probably have two wins to our name.
“Timboon are similar, I think they play Warrnambool Gold this week and have an easier game to finish so we really need an upset now to give ourselves a chance.”
Grant said his side was upbeat after going down to City Red.
“It was a tough game and it was unusual George Draffen went down by as much as he did,” he said.
“At the end of the day if he was closer we still would have lost but it would have meant we lost by a smaller margin.
“It was a game that we hoped to win, but weren’t expecting to win it so we’re not that disappointed to lose it.
“But in a way we’re disappointed to get as close as we did to them.”
Draffen’s rink suffered the biggest loss of the day, going down to Kevin O’Keeffe 32-16 while Grant lost his contest to Neil Crisp 31-24 after he returned to the skip position in Colin Goldsworthy’s
Shane Cashill rounded out the defeats, with his quartet losing to David Wells 23-20.
“As far as I can remember they (Draffen’s rink) were always chasing a big margin in front of them,” Grant said.
“George and the boys can usually claw their way back but it just didn’t happen.
“Our rink, we were in front early and had our chances but City ended up in front at the right end of the day and it was the same with Shane Cashill I think.
“They were level and certainly had their chances to win so we were disappointed to lose both of those games because as I said we were in front at stages.”
The Lakers are now set to take on bottom side Warrnambool Blue, with Grant sounding a warning to his team-mates ahead of the match at Warrnambool.
“I honestly rate this as a danger game because it would be very easy for us to write it down as a win heading into Koroit,” he said.
“We need to be careful because we don’t want to drop this one.”
Meanwhile, the club’s division two and four sides remain fourth in their respective divisions despite losing tough games on the weekend.
Mortlake White went down to City Blue 79-61 in division two, while Mortlake Gold lost to City Yellow 75-69 in division four.
Grant said both sides had easier games over the final two home and away rounds.
Saturday pennant results from February 8:
Division one lost to City Red 60/86.
Shane Cashill 20/23, Darren Grant 24/31, George Draffen 16/32.
Division two lost to City Blue 61/79.
Paul Delaney 18/33, Jim Wallace 21/25, Alan Puzey 22/21.
Division four lost to City Yellow 69/75.
Dwayne Dolling 18/24, Frank Robertson 22/22, Anne Van Diemen 29/29.
Midweek pennant results from Tuesday, February 11:
Division one defeated Dennington Dolphins 84/64.
Lyn O’Shannessy 24/21, Anne Van Diemen 28/21, Val Smith 32/22.
Division three lost to Port Fairy Red 43/48.
Patricia Digby 21/23, Scott Pierce 22/25.
Over 60s defeated Simpson 81/57.
Ian Macdonald 23/23, Max Heard 28/19, Jim Wallace 30/15.
Selected teams for Saturday pennant on February 15:
Division one vs Warrnambool Blue away.
D. Grant, J. Ruddle, C. Baxter, P. Beardsley;
G. Draffen, P. Summerhayes, R. Draffen, J. Rasmussen;
S. Cashill, D. McNicoll, A. Wentworth, S. Pierce.
Division two vs Port Fairy Blue at home.
A. Puzey, I. Macdonald, N. Boyden, D. Murray;
P. Delaney, M. Heard, L. Smith, C. Inverarity;
J. Wallace, K. O’Shannessy, P. Palmer, D. Dolling.
Division four vs Timboon Red away.
R. Van Diemen, L. O’Shannessy, B. Mahncke, K. Crosbie;
F. Robertson, D. Caudle, N. Smith, D. Sedgley;
A. Van Diemen, C. Richie, J. Marney, S. Grinter.
Selected teams For Tuesday, February 18:
Division one vs Lawn Tennis at home.
A. Van Diemen, E. Robinson, G. Kenna, A. Wentworth;
L. O’Shannessy, P. Summerhayes, K. O’Shannessy, D. Robertson;
V. Smith, G. Draffen, L. Smith, M. Whitson.
Division three vs Timboon away.
R. Pasque, P. Digby, A. Vinen, G. Macdonald;
S. Pierce, T. Parsons, P. Smith, S. Richie.