The victorious Wannon Park Dogs side, comprising skipper Gilmour Bates (left), Maureen Drennan, Maureen Bond and Barbara Wensley, celebrate their Indoor Bowls Warrnambool summer pennant premiership.BEFORE the final home-and-away round of summer pennant, Wannon Park Dogs skipper Gilmour Bates’ dream of steering his side to a premiership in memory of his father seemed unlikely.
Nanjing Night Net

With one Indoor Bowls Warrnambool minor round match remaining, the Dogs were sitting outside the top four.

“But the third and fourth teams both got beaten and the fifth and sixth teams both won, so we went to third,” Bates said.

The Dogs eventually progressed to Monday night’s division one grand final, upsetting Cudgee Cats 21-16 at Val Bertrand Stadium.

It meant Bates, who lost his father and former teammate Jack to a heart attack in October, was able to tick off his goal.

“I wanted to win it for dad,” he said.

The victorious Wannon Park team was also made up of Maureen Drennan (third), Maureen Bond (second) and Barbara Wensley (lead).

“We had an up and down season but we snuck in (to finals) and we just started to play a little bit better,” Bates said.

The Dogs clearly saved their best until last, waiting until the grand final to defeat the George Draffen-skipped Cats, who entered the decider as favourite.

“They beat us twice during the season,” Bates said.“I thought we were a 50-50 chance.

“It was a very tight game. With about four ends to go, we got a five.

“They just went off a little bit in the last eight ends and didn’t have bowls in the head.”

The skipper believed the improvement from Wensley leading up to and during the finals series was crucial to his side’s success.

Wannon Park also clinched the division two premiership, with the Racers rolling Cudgee Pumas 24-14.

The triumphant team consisted of Murray Smith (skip), Alan Bell (third), Ray Bond (second) and Don McLeod (lead).

For husband and wife Ray and Maureen Bond, Monday night was the first time both had been involved in a bowls premiership.

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