Howlong wasted no time avenging last season’s Albury and District grade three pennant grand final loss against North Albury.
The Spiders grabbed a thrilling one-shot victory, 62-61, over the Hoppers at North Albury Sports Club on Saturday, with the game well and truly alive until the final bowl.
Phil Slater’s rink edged out Duane Crow’s side 18-16, while John Dawson won by the barest of margins against Norm Honey, 22-21.
North Albury’s only point came from a 24-22 result for David Doolan against his brother, Ian.
Culcairn started the new campaign in style with a 69-44 triumph on home turf against the newly-promoted Holbrook.
The result was set up by a 30-11 success for Dave Trebley’s men against the Holbrook rink skipped by Gavin Jones.
Albury and District Bowler of the Year Terry Hensel and his side got over the line, 21-15, against Chris Heather’s lineup.
Culcairn emerged with 9.5 of a possible 10 points with an 18-all draw in the remaining rink between Jim Lee and Wolfgang Kaletta.
After recruiting heavily during the off-season with the addition of five new bowlers to its top side, Lavington lived up to the hype with a 65-52 salute against Henty at Henty.
Max Scanlon made the perfect debut for the Panthers, skipping his rink to a 26-12 salute against Peter Forck’s quartet.
Adrian Pantling’s rink produced a 29-16 victory against Glenn Harrison, with Henty grabbing one point thanks to a 24-10 win for Kerry Boyle against Darren Moore’s team.
The grade three ladder after round one is: Culcairn 9.5, Lavington 9, Howlong 9, North Albury 1, Henty 1, Holbrook 0.5.
Round two sees Lavington return home to host Culcairn, Howlong will look to make it two-in-a-row against Henty, while North Albury travels to Holbrook.
Meanwhile, all Ovens and Murray A1 pennant matches were abandoned due to extreme heat across the region on Saturday.
As a result, all sides received nine competition points each.
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