Finals on the line

February 10, 2018

Danger man: Nagambie's Paul Nichols could be the difference when his side takes on Shepparton Park.

Finals could be on the line in Goulburn Valley Bowls division one today as Nagambie hosts a surging Shepparton Park line-up.

Nagambie is fourth on the ladder, just one point clear of Park heading into the clash.

The visitors started the season 1-3 with a draw, but rebounded with three consecutive wins, and playing-coach Mark Ryan said the significance of the fourth-versus-fifth showdown was not lost on his side.

‘‘We’ve probably got to win every week to make finals; we know the job at hand,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re going to have to play at our best or we could well miss out. There’s certainly plenty of motivation to play well.

‘‘But we head to Nagambie to play on their carpet and we’ve played really well on that lately which will suit us.’’

Nagambie’s form has dropped off in recent rounds; after a strong start to the season, it has lost three of its past four.

But it does boast a win against Park in round five, a 100-93 result, but Ryan did not put too much stock in it.

‘‘It was a bit of a slow track that day — the greens were unforgiving,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m looking forward to facing them on the carpet because that is where we play our best bowls.

‘‘I don’t think you can take a lot from (round five) and I’d hope to see us playing well this weekend.’’

Playing against Nagambie is never an easy task, especially with the side boasting the division’s top skip Paul Nichols.

‘‘Most definitely; Paul is a really good player,’’ Ryan said.

‘‘But we’re pretty happy with the rink draw, Chris Ferguson will play him and they’ve played before and had some good tussles.

‘‘We’re hoping he can deliver against what is probably the best player in the competition currently.’’

Shepparton Park has looked strong recently, particularly in the 124-75 rout of Seymour last weekend, taking all the 18 competition points on offer.

‘‘Our form has actually been really good,’’ Ryan said.

‘‘We had a clean sweep last week against Seymour which is hard to do against any team.

‘‘We’re missing one of our best players in Tinning, which we have for a lot of the season, and that hasn’t helped us too much.

‘‘But we’ll look to counteract his absence with some really good bowling.’’

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