Upsets and near upsets almost threw last Saturday’s round two of Lower Murray Bowling Association pennants in disarray.
Do not point to windy conditions as an excuse either as what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
It was in division one where the most notable distress occurred, with RSL winning on two rinks defeating hot favourites Bridge Gold by eight shots.
It really was a morale boosting win for the RSL club and to win two straight would have been even better.
The near miss was at Karoonda where the locals went within two shots of toppling the mighty Jervois outfit.
Tailem could not go the pace at Mannum where the locals won by two shots.
Bridge Blue ran to form with a big win over Meningie resulting in the side holding top position ahead of RSL, Jervois and Bridge Gold.
Skipper of the round goes to Bridge Blue’s Paul Smart, the auctioneer banged the gavel hard with another spacious margin this time by 23 shots at Meningie.
Blue’s other two skippers Gerry Penta and Brian “Ruby” Traeger also chalked up big wins.
RSL v Bridge Gold
RSL hosted Murray Bridge Gold in very windy but otherwise perfect conditions on the newly resurfaced green and upgraded surrounds.
The wind created conditions that would be a factor in head conversions and outstanding bowling throughout the day from both sides.
The match was in the balance at the drinks break with both sides reflecting on the challenge ahead.
A few tactical changes after the break for RSL and valuable shots that provided for a great last half of the day.
RSL Grizzly's rink over Charlie Disanto's side balanced the dominant Macintosh (MB) rink win over Pevic's team.
Kneebone's rink members got the upper hand in the second half and were able to hold on to a good win.
Both sides should feel proud of the battle through to the end with RSL taking honours by eight shots.
Mannum v Tailem Bend
The game was played under very gusty wind conditions making it hard to play consistent bowls.
Mannum handled the conditions a little better than Tailem Bend and led by 17 shots at the break.
Tailem fought back during the afternoon and narrowed the gap to eight shots by the end of the day.
Sam Shepherd, Travis Schenke, David Linde and Brian Leckie were the first to score and they added three shots.
Terry McDonnell, Ian Windebank, Richard Symons and Martin March equalised with three shots on the next end.
Shepherd added a single and two shots then McDonnell hit hard with five shots.
Shepherd added another two shots and a single then McDonnell took over adding two fours and successive twos to lead 20-9 as they went to the break.
Shepherd came out fighting and won five ends adding nine shots to close the gap to just three shots, 20-17.
McDonnell steadied and picked up nine shots over the next three ends, this included a five.
Shepherd won the final three ends to finish the day 29-22 down.
Mark Martin, Kym Tomkinson, Garry Chinner and Colin Baxter added successive twos to start their day. Garry Fowler came back with three shots and a single to tie the scores.
Martin added a single and Fowler replied with four shots only to see Martin add three shots to tie the scores again.
Fowler then gained control and won the next four ends to go the break leading 13-8.
Martin added two shots and Fowler replied with two singles.
Martin hit back with successive twos to draw within a shot after sixteen ends, 15-14.
Fowler added two singles then Martin won the final three ends to take the game 21-17.
Graham Wakefield, Peter Wegener, Tom Towns and Lynton Jones picked up two shots on the first end and Duane Edwards, Jason Montgomerie, Jason Kiddie and Graeme Millard picked up three shots.
Wakefield added three shots and Edwards gained a single.
Wakefield replied with two singles then Edwards hit hard with four shots and two shots to take the lead 10-7.
Wakefield tied the scores with three shots and Edwards then added two shots.
Three shots for Wakefield took him into the break leading 13-12.
Edwards came out fighting and picked up two shots and a single but Wakefield then took control winning the next six ends and adding eleven shots to set up a commanding lead of 24-15 with two ends to play.
Edwards took the final two ends adding four shots to go down fighting 24-19.
More surprises in Division Two when Karoonda at home accounted for Bridge Green and now lead the competition in advance of Jervois Red, who returned to form after a slow opening start to the season beating Bridge White on all rinks.
Next comes Mannum, Bridge Green and Jervois Black all on 12 points.
The Karoonda win was a massive boost for the side which has now won its first two challenges in grand style.
Ken Wegner lost narrowly by two shots but Barry Manuel eight up and Don Loller home by one made amends.
Mannum v Tailem Bend Blue
This game was a real battle through to the break and Mannum led by just two shots.
During the afternoon Mannum were able to pull away and took the game by thirteen shots at the end of the day. Steve Wilkinson, Graham Leathers, Grant Bormann and John McDiarmid began well with four shots.
Michael Thorne, Kevin Griffith, Ann Priest and Bob Hughes then won the next five ends to lead eight to four. Wilkinson picked up successive twos to tie the scores on eight shots.
Thorne added three shots and Wilkinson levelled as they went into the lunch break.
Wilkinson continued on and after sixteen ends, he led 20-11.
Thorne broke the run with three shots the Wilkinson added three singles.
Two shots for Thorne on the final end saw Wilkinson take the game 23-16.
Daryl Little, Bruce O’Connell, Bevan Jaensch and Glenda Shepherd opened their account with three shots before Mike Pethick, Jerry Pannell, Max Greer and Frank Dite added two shots to the tally.
Little added a single and Pethick picked up two shots. At the break, Pethick led by one shot, 11-10.
Pethick and his men came out firing and added a five, one, two, one and one to set up a 21-10 lead.
Little hit back hard over the next five ends adding eight shots to just go down 21-18.
John Sage, Maurie Davey, Trevor Dicker and Chris Mundie began with three singles then Scott Dinham, Neville Merritt, Merv Stevens and Matt Kowald swung into action with two shots and a single.
Mainly singles were scored and at the break Sage led seven to six. Sage continued with three more singles then Dinham broke his run with two, four, and two to take the lead, 14-10.
Sage came back with two shots and Dinham added a single then Sage took the final two ends adding three shots on each to win the game 18-15.
Two forfeits set this competition back a bit but the other three fixtures went ahead with results as expected but not by overbearing margins.
Murray Bridge Red at Meningie made it by eight shots but the locals got through on one rink where Rob Warnes defeated Brian Traeger by one shot.
For Reds, Hedley Pullar made it safe for the visitors with a nine shot win against Peter Black.
At Tailem Bend, bowlers on both sides fought the nor'easter and still produced a good days bowling with the locals eventually winning by 13 shots.
Malcolm Hoff started the better against local skipper Ruth Cross scoring four singles to one, the locals rallied after that spell scoring eight shots to two to take a three shot lead.
Hoff’s players Neville and Carlene Schulz and Dean Schenke hit back to only trail by one on the 14th end.
Ruth had two fledging bowlers Joel Maidment and Dennis Ackland as well as veteran Allen Hewett at her disposal and they mastered the conditions the better to score nine shots to two in the run home.
Hoff and Cross fought out an inspiring duel but it was Cross who produced a series of telling skippers bowls that lifted her team over the line.
Under the difficult conditions the teams of Tailem’s Gary Beauglehall and John Wooldridge contested very well all day with the Tailem players getting the better start and playing a bit more steadier than their opponents.
Corey Pett was very good on the lead, David Wells and Bernie Cross were also consistent under a superb display from Beauglehall in the skippers role.
Tailem Bend had 13 shots to four on the board after nine ends.
The two teams then slugged it out with Karoonda getting within four shots by the 15th end.
Tailem scored the next five shots to go nine ahead and take a firm grip on the game.
However, four shots to Karoonda over the last two ends cut the final margin down to five shots.
Mannum Gold v Mannum Green
At the break only seven shots separated the sides with Green taking the honours.
Green managed to extend the margin to fifteen by the end of the game.
Trevor Frahn for Mannum Gold, Elsie Waechter, Deb Peach and Barry Maloney added a single on the first end before Gaynor Pitcher, Di Leathers, Chris Thomas and Colin Pym then each got into gear with three shots and a single.
Frahn came back with five shots on the next two ends but Pitcher then added successive twos to lead nine to six.
Frahn steadied and picked up four shots to go to the break leading 10-9.
Frahn continued on adding six more shots over the next three ends then Pitcher broke in with three shots.
A single for Frahn followed and Pitcher was then able to win the final five ends adding eleven shots to take the game 23-17.
Pam Bormann (Gold), Bob Hughes, Jeff Eichler and Kaye Hall added a single on the first end and Marlene Davies, Ray Wescombe, Pam Eichler and Ramon Leahy then won the next three ends to lead 7-1.
Bormann added a single and followed up with two shots then Davies broke the run with three, one and four shots to lead 15 to four.
Bormann steadied and added a single and two shots to go to the break trailing 7-15.
Bormann added a single then Davies hit hard with four winning ends and the addition of eight shots to lead 23-8.
Bormann steadied and only dropped a single in the final five ends to go down fighting. The final score was 15-24.