City Memorial Red celebrates winning its fourth of the past six division one grand finals on Saturday.CITY Memorial Red skipper Tim Jackway revealed the Saturday pennant powerhouse was lacking self belief after an uncharacteristic home-and-away season, but the side clicked when it counted most to clinch back-to-back flags.
Nanjing Night Net

City Red rolled arch-rival Warrnambool Gold 95-86 in the season decider at City Memorial Bowls Club on Saturday, which came after minor premier Warrnambool entered the finals series as favourite.

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“We would’ve been the underdogs going into the finals,” Jackway said.

“Our form’s been really topsy-turvy and they belted us twice during the year, but we turned it around in the two finals.”

Jackway partly attributed the momentum swing to City Red holding a couple of team training sessions late in the season, which helped boost morale.

“I think being able to beat Warrnambool in that first final at Dennington gave us the confidence that we could beat them,” he said.

“We had been struggling with self belief this year, so to beat them in that final, then we thought ‘hang on, we’ve got a real chance here’.”

Jackway’s was the decisive rink on Saturday, defeating Brian “Blacky” Lenehan 32-18, while City’s Ray Hoy triumphed over Paul O’Donnell 27-22.

Warrnambool also had two victorious rinks in Kevin Boyd and Neil Crisp, who defeated Peter Pangrazio (25-20) and Kevin McMahon (21-16) respectively.

“It’s always like that in a final, you hardly ever win all four rinks,” Jackway said.

“It’s always the strength of your 16.”

The skipper said City Memorial and Warrnambool had the advantage of boasting more depth than the smaller clubs, which he believed played an important role in City’s 2011-12 premiership.

The side lost three regular players in Bill Tory, Peter Maddern and Wayne Hall late in the season.

“When we had three really good players become unavailable, us bigger clubs have five, six or seven really strong replacements that can come in,” he said.

“Warrnambool Gold are the same.”

City Red’s replacements were Wayne Gleeson, Les Graham and Ron Grant, with the trio holding their own in Saturday’s grand final.

Graham (second) and Grant (lead) were part of Jackway’s rink along with third David Clements, who returned to pennant after about six years off.

“He was a real acquisition for the club,” the skipper said.

“In our game, we kicked away in the middle.

“It was fairly tight but we got a six and a three on consecutive ends to get a bit of momentum.”

Hoy’s rink managed to get the jump on O’Donnell early and Pangrazio trailed Boyd throughout the afternoon, while Jackway praised McMahon’s competitive performance against Crisp.

Warrnambool Gold players stayed at City Memorial Bowls Club for a drink post-match before the back-to-back champions continued their celebrations into the evening.

“We had a few quiet drinks and shared some food,” Jackway said. “It was a really good vibe.”

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