BILOELA Bandits put two years of disappointment behind them to claim the Port Curtis District lawn bowls pennants championship last weekend.
The first division team shrugged off their 18-point loss during the round matches against Gladstone to upstage the harbour city team, on their home green, in the final by nine shots.
During the final on Sunday afternoon Biloela skipped out to an early 10-point lead, but that was narrowed to two after seven ends. Bandits rallied and pushed out to a handy 14-point lead with only a handful of ends remaining and then managed to keep the chasing Gladstone Pumas at bay to claim their maiden pennant flag.
"This is something we have been building towards for a couple of years now,” a club spokesperson said.
"We have had an influx of new and younger bowlers over the past few years and have steadily been introducing them to this higher level of representative bowls.
"Having a good mix of experience and youth and enthusiasm has finally paid off.
"We came close in the finals against Gladstone over the past two years, only to lose it on the final end.
"This year we went into the final end seven shots up, making it almost impossible for Gladstone to steal the win.”
During the two-weekend tournament Biloela took on teams from Monto, Tannum Sands, Gladstone and Calliope.
Biloela will now play in the Zone Regional play-offs in late September against Yeppoon and Bundaberg. The winner will compete in the State Championships in November.
"All 12 bowlers were over the moon with the win and each and every one contributed in a big way towards the result,” the spokesperson said.
"It is a very tough competition, with some very good bowls played.
"We had a tough semi-final match against Monto and only stretched out to a 10-point lead in the closing stages of that match.
"Playing against Yeppoon in Yeppoon will be a massive challenge, as the match will be played on their home carpet green, which is something a lot of our guys will not be accustomed to.”
Biloela also excelled in the second-division play-offs, winning the semi-final against Gladstone by one point and then narrowly losing the final to 1770.
"It just goes to show the strength of our small club,'' the spokesperson said.
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