For much of the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division season Kyabram and East Shepparton have been inseparable at the top of the weekend pennant division one ladder.
And that is exactly how their head-to-head encounter played out; the sides were locked at 88 when play ended, splitting the rinks on offer and each leaving the day with nine competition points.
The top-of-the-table match-up was supposed to sort out who would take the minor premiership, but it instead left players with more questions than answers with only two weeks until finals.
East coach Josh Thornton delivered his side a 22-17 win taking down Robert George’s Kyabram line-up.
But Kyabram’s Greg Shilling returned the favour taking down Geoff Franze by the same margin, the five-shot gap the biggest of the closely-fought match.
Kyabram coach David Cartwright headed into the contest the number four ranked skip of the season, and with another win jumped to number two.
His rink proved too strong for Jordan Thornton’s, winning by three shots.
But the sides simply could not be separated as East’s Nick Boyd beat Phil Denham 24-21 for the scores to finish tied at 9-88.
The result was more damaging for East; Kyabram retained top spot, but East’s premiership chances took a big blow by failing to win, sliding from second to third.
With only the top two earning a double chance in finals, East will need to take strong results from its final two games against Shepparton Park and Stanhope.
One point ahead is Shepparton Golf, which faces Seymour and Nagambie to close the regular season.
But the gap to first position is also not insurmountable, Kyabram is only five points ahead of East with Hill Top and Shepparton Park to come.