BENDIGO coach Frank Byrne has praised the fighting quality of his team as it finally broke through for its first win of the Bendigo premier division lawn bowls season on Saturday.
Bendigo outlasted Golden Square in a hard-fought clash to win 77-72 at home, with the result coming off the back of a tough period for the club off the green having had its playing stocks severely impacted the previous week due to COVID.
"It was a terriffic result for the club today... I'm really proud of the never-say-die attitude we played with," an elated Byrne said.
"It was a close game all day and it was great the way in which we fought on."
Bendigo had three rinks up, with skippers Grant Woodward (+4), Lee Harris (+9) and Mark Anderson (+7) all triumphing.
Harris scored a decisive 23-14 win over the Golden Square rink of Lachlan Bowland, which had gone into the match having won its past five games.
Bendigo's winning team included three generations of the Manning family - Mick, Leigh and Charlie - on a special day for the club.
The only winning rink for Golden Square was John Berry's, which prevailed 26-11 over Byrne, who continues to fill-in as skipper for the unavailable Andrew Brown.
* Kangaroo Flat claimed the big scalp of ladder-leader Moama.
The Steamers had gone into Saturday's clash unbeaten, but it was the Roos who emerged victorious with an impressive 86-78 victory.
In what has been an inconsistent season from the Roos, Saturday re-affirmed what they are capable of when at their best given they have now beaten all three of their fellow top-four sides having earlier knocked over Eaglehawk and South Bendigo.
"We feel we're a different Roos' side now to the start of the season," Kangaroo Flat skipper David Keenan said.
"Moama has shown what a quality side it is, so to go up there today and get a win is a great result."
Keenan (+4), Cameron Wilson (+9) and Cameron Keenan (+10) were all winning skippers for Kangaroo Flat, which climbed from third to fourth on the ladder and now has a 20-point buffer inside the top four.
The Moama rink skipped by Kevin Brennan again showed why it has been the competition's most dominant this season, recording a commanding 31-16 victory over Barry Anset.
* Castlemaine continues to prove a bogey side for Bendigo East.
The Maine travelled to Lansell Street on Saturday having lost five games in a row by a combined 158 shots.
Yet the Maine was able to snap its losing streak, defeating the Beasties 85-79.
It's now three times in a row Castlemaine has beaten Bendigo East after winning 90-63 in round one and 84-68 in round 14 last season.
"We came home pretty strong today for a good win," Castlemaine skipper Rod Phillips said.
"A few of our newer players are starting to hit their straps, so it's very encouraging and we'll keep working away... we're a resilient team and we hung in well today against what is an East side that is still fairly strong."
Both teams won two rinks apiece, with the key result that swung the game in favour of Castlemaine being Greg Brain's eight-shot win over Ian Ross, 25-17.
The other three rinks were all decided by four shots or less.
* Eaglehawk's strong form post the mid-season break continued with a solid win over reigning premier South Bendigo.
Coming off a pair of 38 and 39-shot wins in the previous weekend's double-header, the Hawks defeated the reigning premiers 83-66 to move within three points of top side Moama.
The rinks of the in-form Marc Smith (+21) and Dean Carter (+13) led the charge for the Hawks, while skipper Max Rowley after missing the previous week made a winning return for the Diggers in a 22-8 win over Brayden Byrne.
Brad Holland (+3) also won his rink for South Bendigo with a 20-17 victory over Darren Burgess.
Eaglehawk 83 def South Bendigo 66.
Brayden Byrne 8 lt Max Rowley 22, Darren Burgess 17 lt Brad Holland 20, Marc Smith 32 def Tom Lester 11, Dean Carter 26 def Luke Hoskin 13.
Bendigo 77 def Golden Square 72.
Grant Woodward 22 def Travis Berry 18, Lee Harris 23 def Lachlan Bowland 14, Frank Byrne 11 lt John Berry 26, Mark Anderson 21 def Garri Conforti 14.
Kangaroo Flat 86 def Moama 78.
David Keenan 22 def Kevin Anderson 18, Barry Anset 16 lt Kevin Brennan 31, Cameron Wilson 23 def Peter Campbell 14, Cameron Keenan 25 def Barry Brennan 15.
Castlemaine 85 def Bendigo East 79.
Peter Brain 22 def Greg Podesta 19, James Oliver 17 lt Kevin Probert 18, Rod Phillips 21 lt Aaron Tomkins 25, Greg Brain 25 def Ian Ross 17.
Strathfieldsaye 89 def White Hills 73, Harcourt 75 def Bendigo 72, Kangaroo Flat 89 def Eaglehawk 68, Marong 83 def Bendigo East 68.
Bendigo East 91 def Heathcote 77, Golden Square 93 def Strathfieldsaye 56, South Bendigo 91 def Serpentine 61, North Bendigo 89 def Bendigo 64.
Bendigo East 80 def Golden Square 79, Marong 78 def White Hills 76, South Bendigo 77 def Woodbury 74, Castlemaine 86 def Kangaroo Flat 73.
Kangaroo Flat 133 def Castlemaine 49, Inglewood 89 def Campbells Creek 75, Eaglehawk 85 def Calivil 67, Marong 78 def Dingee 74.
Harcourt 81 def Woodbury 66, Strathfieldsaye 123 def Bridgewater 61, South Bendigo 76 def Eaglehawk 73, Bendigo 88 def Kangaroo Flat 81.
White Hills 66 def Kangaroo Flat 64, Bendigo VRI 77 def Bendigo East 42, Golden Square 69 def South Bendigo 48, Heathcote 70 def Strathfieldsaye 51.
Harcourt 57 def Marong 54, Golden Square 68 def Woodbury 34, Kangaroo Flat 64 def White Hills 54.
Monday's division one matches in round eight of Bendigo midweek pennant - Eaglehawk v Bendigo East, White Hills v Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square v Inglewood, Bendigo v Castlemaine.
Ladder - Eaglehawk (77), Bendigo (69), Kangaroo Flat (60), Bendigo East (58), Golden Square (57), White Hills (52), Inglewood (50), Castlemaine (25).
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