FOR the first time in its history South Bendigo has won a hat-trick of Bendigo weekend pennant premierships after defeating Eaglehawk in Sunday's grand final.
The Diggers backed up their premiership wins of 2021 and 2020 with a 79-67 triumph over the Hawks at Bendigo East.
There's a saying in sport that scoreboard pressure is the best pressure and South Bendigo proved that.
The Diggers jumped out to an early lead - they were up 25-13 after 20 ends - and were able to keep the Hawks at arms length throughout the remainder of the game.
While the Hawks were able to get the margin back to single figures at times, for much of the game the Diggers held a buffer of at least 10 shots.
"It's a fantastic feeling for the group to win, especially beating a team we hadn't beaten this season before today," South Bendigo coach Brad Holland said.
"We knew we had to start well, which we were able to do, and we were confident in that we had been playing well in the back half of games.
"Eaglehawk threw everything at us and got it back to single figures, so it was good of the boys to keep fighting."
The Hawks trailed by 18 shots, 68-50, after 69 ends, but gained some momentum to close the gap to seven shots after 74 ends.
However, that would be as close as the Hawks would get as the Diggers - as they had done all day - responded to push their lead back out into double figures.
Only 83 of the 84 ends were required, with the result decided before Holland and Eaglehawk's Marc Smith needed to play their final end.
The Diggers won three of the four rinks.
In the clash between each side's top-rank rinked, Holland prevailed 24-16 over Smith.
The South Bendigo rink of skipper Luke Hoskin was also superb in defeating Dean Carter 24-16 in what was only the fourth loss of the season for Carter.
A pivotal result for South was Daryl Rowley's rink toppling Brayden Byrne 20-15, while the only winning rink for Eaglehawk was Darren Burgess defeating Max Rowley 20-10.
The win is the 22nd weekend pennant top division flag for South Bendigo, while the Hawks were left to lament a missed opportunity having finished on top of the ladder.
"South got out to a strong start; we were able to peg the margin back at times, but just couldn't go that next gear," Hawks skipper Carter said.
"Full credit to South; all four rinks played some big bowls throughout the day."
South Bendigo - Gary Ryan, David White,Ben Gould, Daryl Rowley (s); Peter Frawley, Beau Traill, Tom Lester, Brad Holland (s); Wayne Marwood, Mal Darroch, Greg Sherman, Luke Hoskin (s); Nick Rowley, Trevor Zimmer, Dale Oddy, Max Rowley (s).
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