We are getting into the third round of Lower Murray Bowling Association Saturday pennant bowls and tipping correctly is not getting any easier.
I thought I had four matches in the bag last Saturday, until RSL bobbed up and won quite unexpectedly. Dwelling on last season made it almost impossible to throw them a life line even though they did win first up.
Jervois v Tailem Bend
I was talking to a few of the Jervois boys recently and they emphasised to me to forget about anything that has happened so far; they are sharpening their knives for this one.
They have their two division two colours at home with them in a derby so the club surrounds will be saturated in red and black.
Their opening two rounds wouldn’t be as they would have liked. They did, however, get the majority of points in each one and that is the most important thing.
Tailem Bend, on the other hand, has only picked up four points in the two outings so far and that sends them in this fray as the underdogs. There is no doubt there is plenty of talent in the side but a lack of fire power must be real confidence sapping.
Something tells me it is time for me to pick a roughie so I will go for Tailem to break the drought by 1-10 shots.
Mannum v Karoonda
This contest has got me thinking; there is no doubt Mannum at home as usual will be hard to topple, the side is in form so it all points to Mannum winning this game... or does it?
Karoonda’s effort last week even though they lost was full of merit and a repeat of that puts them in with a chance. A further look tells me they don’t perform away from home as they do in the shadows of the silo.
Lord Mayor Ian Symonds needs to address that situation and this week is the time to do it.
We will wait and see but in the meantime I am picking Mannum to win by 11-20 and doing that I can hear a huge sigh of relief coming from Barb Pope.
Bridge Gold v Meningie
Goodness, gracious me; I wonder how the Goldies are feeling after their last capitulation.
They had already lost one of their skippers then failed against a pumped up RSL assembly that took no prisoners. The big thing in their favour is that they are playing at home and facing a side that is really struggling.
I am sure Goldies got caught by surprise, one of those situations where it is a matter of turning up, let’s get it over quick so we can go home.
That won’t happen again the fingers have been burnt and I don’t think Meningie can add to the pain, they weren’t all that far away first up but I see this as another big hurdle they will find hard to clear. Gold will be too good by 11-20 shots.
Bridge Blue v RSL
Now this is where the problem exists.
Suddenly, RSL has become almost everyone’s favourite; that is if you are not playing against them. They are certainly a threat but at this stage not a force, Bridge Blue’s carry that label. If the RSL contingent can win this or even give it a big shake then the association will get what it needs and that is a competition with more than just five contenders. Blue, at the moment, are performing better than anyone else making it very hard to tip against them. They will be wary, and will need to be especially with the team of Gary Daniel in full flight, but after an arm wrestle Blues will make it by 11-20.
Tailem Blue v Bridge White
The strike rate for these two stands at a win each, I don’t know about White but I do know Tailem is yet to have a full list to select from which makes it hard to get the right balance, as others would know, last start both surrendered full points so there is room for improvement. It’s a bit early to be confident about anyone’s chances so in the dark somewhat I will go for the home side and say Tailem Blue can make it by 1-10.
Jervois Red v Jervois Black
This is another on that tests the imagination, neither did any good in their first round games but have turned it all around posting good results in their past commitment. Red were the most impressive gaining full points while Blacks still have a bit to prove. The atmosphere will be keen and so will the bowling, I am tipping Reds will come through the better with a 1-10 win.
Tailem Gold v Mannum
There is no doubt the Mannum teams are always setting the standard for the others to rise to. The bye first up didn’t worry them at all as they struck immediately with a good win on debut. Gold are yet to reach their peak and could struggle for a couple more weeks, not out of calculations by any means but Mannum with the better form will be favourites could make that rating correct by about four shots.
RSL v Karoonda
Karoonda is travelling exceptionally well, they head the list with two wins straight and are well in the running to make it three straight. By comparison, RSL is yet to break through but certainly not out of contention on their own turf. Barry Manuel has been the key for Karoonda – his team is undefeated and on that form will be hard for RSL to contain. With that in mind, I have to select Karoonda by 11-20.
Bridge Red v Bridge Purple
With one very big win and points for a forfeit Purple lead the way while their opponents Red sit quite a way down the ladder which could suggest a one sided contest. The difference in positions doesn’t mean a lot and could be misleading. Reds have enjoyed a win and who knows where Purple would be without the free points. It is however hard to ignore Purple’s massive win so I will stick with Brian Densley and Kaye Simes and make the margin 21-30.
Tailem Bend v Jervois
Jervois enjoyed a very nice win first up then had to forfeit the following week which throws any sort of a form guide out the window. On the other hand the Tailem Bend teams were most impressive the way they went about their task and came away with a well deserved win in very trying conditions. I reckon they can do it again by 1-10 shots at home.
RSL v Meningie
RSL has forfeited twice, let’s hope they can front up this Saturday, whichever way it goes I’ll tip Meningie even though they too are yet to record a win.
Karoonda v Mannum Gold
Karoonda hasn’t recorded a single point as yet and Mannum Gold hasn’t done much better with a loss and the recipient of a forfeit. It will be played at Karoonda which makes me think the Locals will win by about 7 shots.
Bridge Green V Mannum Green
Well this is a battle between the two Greenies, the Bridge holds second spot ahead of Mannum on percentage which will make for a very even contest Mannum Green has won both of their games while The Bridge has a win and points for a forfeit. The Mannum teams do appear to me to be extremely strong so my choice will be them to win away from home by 11-20 shots.