The rags-to-riches story for the Berrigan Community Bowls Club Division Four team had a fairytale ending on Saturday.
Berrigan completed a turnaround from winless cellar dweller last year, to being crowned the 2019/20 Murray Bowls Division champions.
Despite a slow start, the Berrigan team held their nerve throughout the day and finished strongly to defeat Barooga Sports 40 to 33.
Roy Edwards’ rink of Ross Ross Turley, Hardy Rennick and Myles Humphries stepped up the pace after the break winning 11 shots in five ends and finished victors 23 to 12.
Alex Dalgliesh's rink of Peter Blake, Joe Cottam and David Fox came from a long way down early to close the margin.
Dalgliesh managed to pick up five shots in the second-last end to seal the overall victory, with his rink going down by four shots, 21 to 17.
At the start of the season Dalgliesh made a firm prediction that his previously winless side last year, was going to win the championship this year,.
On Saturday he did just that, following through on his prediction despite his teammates laughter.
“We had 10 new players last year to the side but I knew that we could only improve from there,” Dalgliesh said.
“You can predict these things but I'm glad that it was actually right and that we got the win.
“We were down most of the day but the last couple of runs we started to come back.
“Everyone played very well and although we finished fourth for the season, we were able to perform on the day.”
As well as the playing team, the work of coach Geoff Blake was vitally important, calming the team's nerves and helping them maintain focus.
Dalgliesh said that the greens on the day were in perfect condition and they couldn't have done it without the support of Blake and the club.
“We had a lot of people come down on the day and support us which really helped,” he said.
“The greens have really picked up in the last couple of years which is a true testament to the volunteers and greens staff who work tirelessly to make them perfect to play on.
“The win we had was a credit to them, we can't complain, everyone bowled really well and the team worked hard all season to get the win.”
The victorious team returned to the club - all decorated for the event - for a celebratory dinner.
At the dinner, president Garry Seamer praised the effort of the team and recognised the others who had been part of the team during the year - especially the designated emergency reserve player Bob Sedgwick.
The win will see the Berrigan team promoted to Division Three for the 2020/21 season and as a result the club will need to find an addition four bowlers each week.
“We're looking forward to moving up next year,” Dalgliesh said.
“Bowls needs an influx of players and our new president has done a marvelous job bringing some new faces to the club and we hope that continues to grow next year.
“To play in Division Three we'll need an extra four or five to come along, and who knows, you'd like to think we can win again, hopefully everyone keeps improving like I know they can and we can win again next year.
“Our Division Two side might move up to Division One and hopefully they can do even better as well.”