In perfect weather the first round of the Grampians Bowls Division got underway on Saturday.
In division one, Aradale hosted Ararat and managed to get the win by nine shots to start the new season with a positive performance.
Richard Fisher’s rink did its best to cause an upset but fell just short in the end, losing 74 shots to 65.
At Lake Bolac the Park boys got the home side off to a good start to the year with Mal Curnow and Shane Briggs game going down to the last end.
Two teams that have featured in the finals over the last decade faced off in the opening round with Stawell Golf and Chalambar battling it out at Stawell Golf.
The visitors came out on top at the end of the day thanks mainly to Jesse Austin’s rink who gave Peter Walker a bowling lesson in his first game as skipper.
It was a dominant win for Chalambar first up, taking 10 of the 12 points on offer with the 81 shots to 55 victory.
Landsborough hosted Stawell at the Borough and with a couple of new recruits and Bobbo Hodgetts committing to play every week, they will be a very competitive team once they get a few games under their belt.
Despite the offseason recruiting efforts, Stawell managed to win all three rinks to make it a perfect start to the new season and move two points clear at the top of the division ladder.
Stawell managed to win all three rinks to make it a perfect start to the new season...
In the second division, Stawell Gold gave their Blue team a bowling lesson with a massive 34 shot win to claim early season bragging rights at the club.
The Gold team won both rinks to make it a perfect start, courtesy of the 60 shots to 26 victory.
Aradale is back in division two this year and managed to get the points over Stawell Golf Blue to get the season rolling.
Max Cronin’s rink was in particularly good touch, winning 39 shots to 16.
In the closest match of the opening round, Ararat Green snuck home by four shots against Lake Bolac Black.
It was a nailbiter with both teams winning one rink but the Green team got the overall honours after Kevin Breen was unable to restrict the scoring by Green and put enough on his scoreboard to overcome the deficit from the first rink.
Lake Bolac White had a good win over their Red team counterparts at home.
The White team dominated both rinks to take all eight points in a strong opening round performance.
Ararat Gold who are always in the final mix started the new year in a winning way, against the Ararat Blue team.
Stawell Golf Gold managed to win against VRI sharing the game with one rink win each but the shot differential proved the difference with the Gold team ahead 51 to 36.
In the last game of the round, Willaura was forced to forfeit its match against Chalambar, giving Chalambar an extra week off the green and all eight points available.
It leaves Stawell Blue at the top of the ladder ahead of Lake Bolac White, Ararat Gold and Chalambar which rounds out the top four.