Lawn bowler Darren Burgess is celebrating the biggest win of his career after he won the fours title at the Australian Championships.
Burgess, 52, played second in a team consisting of his former Essendon team-mates Jordan Yates, Jay Bye-Norris and Anthony Flapper.
After qualifying for the event by winning the Victorian title earlier in the year, Burgess and team-mates edged out the New South Wales team from St Johns Park 16-12 in a thrilling final at Club Sapphire.
"Winning (pennant) premierships is the ultimate goal each season and I've been able to win a few district events and the state fours, but this is probably the pinnacle for me,'' Burgess said on Friday.
"I've been playing for more than 30 years, so it's exciting to finally win one."
Burgess, who plays pennant for Eaglehawk in the Bendigo Bowls Division, said his side always felt they were a good chance to win the title.
"We made a terrible start when we dropped six shots to South Australia on the opening end of our first game, but we managed to reel them in,'' he said.
"In the second game we played Queensland and they had an Australian Jackaroo player in Sean Ingham skippering them. We managed to get over the top of Queensland and then we had a good win over the WA boys."
"At one stage in the final we were four or five shots down, but we managed to recover and Anthony Flapper nailed a big drive on the second-last end to give us four shots.
"We were three shots up going into the last end and went on to win by four."
Bendigo East coach Lee Schraner took the silver medal in the men’s singles event at the Australian Championships.
Schraner went down to New South Wales’ Ray Pearse.
Burgess and Schraner will be on opposing sides on Saturday in BBD pennant as Eaglehawk hosts Bendigo East in a top-of-the-table clash.
Burgess, a former Bendigo East player, said it should be a grand battle.
“I have a lot of good friends at Bendigo East, so I’m looking forward to it,’’ Burgess said.
“East haven’t lost a game yet and we’re playing well at the moment.
“We’re on our home green and we want to keep this momentum going.
“It should be a fantastic game.”
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