Warrnambool Blue’s Greg Baxter hopes his side can upset clubmate Warrnambool Gold today.PREMIERSHIPS have been scattered across Greg Baxter’s sporting career, but when it comes to his bowls, it seems unlikely he’ll be able to soak up ultimate success while playing for Warrnambool Blue.
Nanjing Night Net

Today the side has a chance to move a step closer to that unlikely triumph but, to do so, it needs to cause one of the greatest upsets in the club’s history.

Blue clashes with clubmate and competition heavyweight Warrnambool Gold in this afternoon’s Saturday pennant preliminary final.

It is believed that Warrnambool’s second side has never progressed to a season decider.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Baxter said.

“It always is when you play against your own clubmates. It’s going to be an interesting day.

“We’re naturally the underdogs being the Blues, but this year we’ve been competitive.”

Western District Bowls Division followers would say that Blue has been more than competitive, inflicting a shock loss on Gold in round five and tying with the competition’s other powerhouse, grand finalist City Memorial Red.

“In previous years we’ve lost to the top sides and even gone down to some of the lower sides, but this year we’ve been able to overcome that,” Baxter said.

“We’ve been competitive against the top sides.

“On our day, we know we can even win those games.”

The lead, who plays in Glen McNaughton’s rink, started playing bowls about six years ago.

“It was mainly because of family,” he said, adding that Victorian representative and Warrnambool Blue teammate Kellie Bowles is his step-daughter.

“I like pennant because it’s a team game.

“But I didn’t realise bowls would be so difficult to start off with.”

Baxter took up bowls following a decorated sporting career that featured football stints with Terang — including a premiership in 1967 — as well as Warrnambool, Merrivale and Old Collegians.

He also played cricket for West Warrnambool, where he was invovled in numerous premierships.

“I gave away cricket when I was about 44 and I didn’t play sport for quite a few years,” he said.

Now 64, Baxter is relishing his return to sport, particularly the chance to play finals.

“We’ll just go in with nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he said of today.

‘‘There’s going to be a lot of support for both sides.

“The best thing is that at least one of us is going to go through to the grand final.”

Today’s winner will take on defending champion City Red in next weekend’s season decider.

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