Saturday swansong for Lions

Foxy was on fire; he’s actually smoking in the background as “Big Dev” slips one away. 391265 Pictures: SUPPLIED



Pakenham’s Third and Fourth Weekend sides both played home semi-finals on Saturday.

Pakenham Three (Div 5) played Narre Warren Five, a team which had beaten them in both of the home and away games of the 2023/24 season.

Pakenham had finished third on the ladder, narrowly ahead of Narre.

The Lions faced an uphill battle from the outset; at the completion of the first 20 ends, they were down 12 shots to 17 and had only one rink in front, with a second all square.

By the half way mark however, Pakenham had two rinks up and even though the Panthers’ lead had grown to 11 shots by then, the situation was still not out of control.

Immediately after the break however, when the Lions needed to dig deep, it was the visitors who applied the greater pressure and by the start of the business ends all four Pakenham rinks were behind and the deficit had blown out to 29 shots – a big hurdle with only 20 ends to go.

In the end it proved too much and the Lions were comprehensively beaten by 103 shots to 61.

Pakenham’s only winning rink with 29 shots to 20 was Peter Wilson (S), Mick Knight (3), Lindsay Stevenson (2) and Ian McKenzie (L).

That rink went very much against the overall trend, scoring 15 shots to two over the last five ends.

The Three’s season is now over; however, after having been promoted at the end of last season, they did a great job to be competitive and to make the finals in the higher division.

In a surprise result, clear ladder leaders Mulgrave Country Club were beaten on their own deck by Burden Park who now advance straight into the grand final.

Mulgrave had to front up again on Sunday, defeating Narre in the preliminary final by 80 to 68 to advance to Saturday’s decider.

After struggling at times throughout the season, Pakenham Four did well to make third spot on the ladder to earn a home semi-final.

As was the case with the Threes, they were also up against a side (Mulgrave Country Club) which had beaten them in both home and away games.

It was not a promising start for the Lions; after the first 20 ends they had only one rink up (by a single shot) and were down overall by 21 shots to nine.

However, big surges during the next quarter on Helen Wright and Eric Peterson’s rinks saw the scores at 41 all, with two up and two down, by the tea break.

By the start of the business ends Pakenham finally had their noses in front, if only by two shots, and it was game on.

Unfortunately, in the run home, the Lions lost both the arm wrestle and the game – by one, single, heartbreaking shot.

Best rink with 22 to 17 was Helen Wright (S), Kevin Holley (3), Ian Kitt (2) and Ray Illing (L).

In the second unexpected result for the afternoon, clear ladder leaders Dandenong were beaten on their home ground by Keysborough who also advance to the Div 7 Grand Final.

Then, on Sunday, Dandy bounced back to beat Mulgrave by one shot, with two up and two down, and will play Keysborough in the grand final.


The Midweek sides played the final round of the 2023/24 home and away season last Tuesday.

All three sides will progress to the finals.

Pakenham One (Div 1) could not have finished the season any better, chalking up a huge win at home against Cheltenham.

The Lions bolted from the blocks and after the first 15 ends had three rinks up and were travelling well, with the score at 24 shots to six.

By lunch time the score had blown out to 59 to 14 and the unfortunate visitors were looking shell shocked.

There was no easing of the pressure after the break and by the start of the business ends the Lions had pushed the score out to 78 to 26.

From that point they cantered home to a 91 to 33 win with all rinks up.

Best rink with 31-7 was Chris “Foxy” Fox (S), Steve “Krusty” Bentley (3), Max Mannik (2) and David Saint (L).

The Ones finished the season in second spot on the ladder, still 20 points behind Clayton but 49 (more than three rounds) clear of Berwick and 50 ahead of Keysborough.

They play Clayton in the second semi-final on Tuesday 27 February with the winner to advance directly to the grand final.

Berwick and Keysborough will play in the first semi-final, with the loser eliminated.

In yet another example of unexpected results, Pakenham Two (top of the ladder) lost its game at Carrum (seventh).

Things were fairly even early in that game although after 20 ends it was the Lions with two rinks well up (but one well down) that held an 18 to 13 lead.

From that point forward however, the locals struck back hard and by lunch time, with two up and one all square, they held a lead of 37 shots to 29.

After the break, two of the Lions’ rinks put up a fight and got their noses back in front.

But the third was being badly mauled – consequently, by the start of the business ends Carrum’s lead had marginally increased to 11 shots.

It was an all-in battle in the home straight which the locals won by two shots, increasing their final winning margin to 13.

Pakenham’s only successful rink, with 21 shots to 18, was Keith “Golden Arm” Archer (S), Brian Norton (3), Maree Taylor (2) and Judith Ferrari (L).

It was not a good way to finish the season; however, the Twos retained the top spot on the ladder, still 18 points ahead of Cardinia Waters.

They are to play a home semi-final against Cardinia Waters on Tuesday 27 February with the winner advancing straight into the grand final.

Cranbourne Two will play Noble Park 1 in the other semi, with the winner playing the loser of the Pakenham/Cardinia Waters game in the preliminary final.

Pakenham Three recorded a clean-sweep away-win against Cardinia Waters Two.

The Villagers gave their visitors a big fright at the start of that game and after the first 15 ends held a 22-7 lead with all three rinks in front.

However, with all rinks fighting back, by about the mid-way mark Pakenham had snatched the lead by (just) one shot, although the locals still had two rinks up.

The Lions continued to apply pressure after the break and by the start of the business ends had two up and an overall lead of 56 shots to 42.

Then with all three rinks firing, they stormed home to finish with three up and a final score of 78 to 52.

It was a great fighting finish; and they will enter the finals with confidence and momentum.

Best rink with 30 to 12 was Allister Stewart (S), Lindsay Stevenson (3), Ken Clifton (2) and Karen Oosthuizen (L).

That rink was stung into action after being down three to seven after five ends; from that point they won seven ends in a row and finished the game by winning four of the last five.

Bill Bosch’s rink also won four of the last five, scoring 10 to three in the process, for a come from behind for a 22-20 win.

The Threes finished on top of the ladder and host Narre Warren Four in the second semi-final, with the winner advancing to the grand final, while Mt Waverley will play Cardinia Waters in the first-semi, with the loser eliminated.

Good luck and good bowling…Go Lions!

Get down and support them!

-Des Leigh-