Heavy rain followed by a heatwave caused mayhem with the Country Carnival Bowls Tournament which was held in Adelaide last week.
Cancellations and rescheduling took a toll on Saturday Pennants State-wide, many bowlers from the Lower Murray Association were still competing in the fours knock-outs, and the further they progressed, the less chance they had of competing at club level.
Some clubs may not have been at full strength but it all probably balanced out.
Karoonda kept Meningie at the foot of the ladder with 16-shot win.
Tailem Bend cemented third spot by defeating Mannum, while at RSL, Bridge Gold made it by eight shots and Jervois staggered Bridge Blue by 29 shots.
Skipper of the round went to Andrew Stasinowsky, his rink got up by 21 shots.
Tailem Bend v Mannum
At Tailem Bend, the home side fought a good battle with Mannum before getting home by 23 shots, due to a solid win by Kim Tomkinson’s team of Colin Baxter, Geoff Chinner and Damian Ackland.
They lined up against skipper Peter Wegener, Graham Wakefield, Lynton Jones and Mike Pethick.
The Tailem team started with a three, but two singles followed by two threes gave Mannum a handy lead.
That was short lived however, as an extraordinary change came over the contest and Tailem went on to win 12 ends straight, transforming a five shot deficit into a 22 shot lead.
Mannum scored a two on the 18th end and a three on the 20th, but a two on the final end gave Tailem a 20 shot winning margin.
Jason Montgomerie’s rink of Merv Stevens, Jason Kiddie and Graeme got to a blistering start against Mannum’s Terry McDonnell, Ian Windebank, Trevor Dicker and Richard Symons.
By the eighth end, Tailem had 17 shots on the board to Mannum’s four.
A six to Mannum cut the deficit considerably, but Tailem kicked away again adding eight shots to a single.
Scoring dried up after that with only a single as Mannum went on to win five of the last six ends, but Tailem kept their lead, winning by three in the end.
It was a superb contest between Tailem’s Sam Shepherd and Gary Fowler; the local team of Travis Schenke, Ian Shepherd and Brian Leckie went neck and neck with Gary Zadow, Jack Pitcher and Chris Mundie.
The scores were level on the eight,11th and 14th ends before Tailem gained a lead of four on the 17th.
It was level again by the 19th, then Tailem went into the last end one in front.
It was fitting that Mannum scored a single on the last end.
Sam Shepherd was the stand out player converting in Tailem’s favour repeatedly with exquisite draw bowling when multiple shots down.
RSL v Murray Bridge Gold
It was an important game for both teams to stamp some credibility in the competition.
Murray Bridge Gold were keen to cement a position in the four and were desperate for a big win across the rinks.
RSL wanted to finish the year strong and show promise for the future hosted
Gary Daniel and Graham Fromm’s rink members played a competitive game right through the day with Fromm holding a steady lead from the start.
Anne-Marie Kuchel was highlighted for her work on lead providing a great challenge with Ben Traeger and giving her team a solid start.
In the end, Fromm was able to hold of a rampaging Daniel combination to provide a theatrical finish to a well fought out game, 17-14.
Trevor Pevic took on the Murray Bridge Gold legend, Ian Oats.
Oates and his rink members were too strong throughout the day and provided a counter attack to the overall score in the first half score that helped to keep Gold in with a chance at half time, and to win the game.
To Pevic's rink lifted after the drinks break to put pressure on Oat’s score dominance.
Tony Gill, at third, was providing good shots for Pevic to help them make a last half catch up.
However it was too late after 21 ends and Oats took the game, 24-15.
Noel Kneebone’s rink started strong against Charlie DiSanto’s team with a great first half set up by Dennis Fiegert on lead, Karen Kneebone at second and Alan Arbon at third.
Their bowling created strong heads at the change over, providing hard work for DiSanto and the ability for Kneebone to consolidate ends.
After twelve ends, RSL were dominating with a big lead.
The second half saw DiSanto’s team of Hayden Hein, Ted Baxter and Jim Brandle work out the windy conditions to pull the game back into contention.
Their games lifted enough to set up some valuable heads for DiSanto and slowly but surely the game was brought back to a closely fought finish 25-21 to RSL.
With two distinctly separate halves played through the day, RSL’s Karen Kneebone at second, could clearly hold her head high over the 21 ends.
DiSanto’s rink members was a significant reason the Gold team won overall.
Gold showed great desperation to win the game overall, 62-54.
The RSL are not far away from being a big improving club and with a few significant potential additions next year, that could help bolster an already improving list.
Another resounding win has put Mannum a mammoth 34-points clear at the head of the table in front of Jervois Red who beat Murray Bridge Green and took over second spot.
Tailem Bend Blue sits third and that will be the four at the end of the minor round.
Tailem Bend Blue v Tailem Bend Gold
The derby at Tailem Bend was an interesting affair, a shortage of players meant triples were the order of the day with only one team fielding a four.
With a big win on one rink, the Blues won overall by 26 shots.
John Gregory’s team dominated for the Blues defeating Kevin McDonald’s by 25 shots.
Scott Dinham was another winner for Blue, his four beat a triples skippered by Ruth Cross by nine shots.
The Blues held a slight advantage for most of the time early, but even so, Gold only trailed by three on the 14th end.
Four’s on the 16th and 18th ends helped push Blue out to be 12 up.
This was reduced to nine after the Golds picked up a three on the last end.
On the other rink both teams fielded triples, Blues skipper Kevin Griffiths had Rob Hughes and David Wells at his disposal while veteran Bernie Cross was in charge of Gold’s young guns Joel Maidment and Corey Pett.
It was a superb struggle between the two teams with Cross three in front by the time they reached the 14th end.
On the very next end, Griffiths scored a four but after that, only showed up again with two more singles.
In contrast, Cross was playing great bowls while Pett and Maidment inspired by their skipper played like veterans rather than novices.
The trio picked up a six on the 19th followed by a two to finally get the result by eight shots.
Jervois v Murray Bridge Blue
Murray Bridge Blue was at home against Jervois in a clash of the top two teams.
Jervois again proved that they are the side to beat, taking the game by 29 shots and increasing their lead at the top of the table.
On the first rink Paul Smart, Gerry Penta, Helen Lindner and Ron Goodwin played Andrew Stasinowsky, David Kempe, Derek Vanderzon and Martin Beaumont in what turned out to be a one side a fair with Stasinowsky’s rink taking the game, 30-9.
Stasinowsky’s rink won nine of the first 12 ends to set up a commanding lead, 20-4.
Smart’s side tried to put on some resistance after the break winning four of the last nine ends but could only put on singles and one two while Stasinowsky continued picking up numbers to eventually take out the game, 30-9.
On the next rink, John Jackson, Hugh Smythe, Jim Freak and Mario Grande were up against Graeme Herbert, Roger Zarantonello, Denis Hicks and Shaun Hicks.
Jackson’s team won seven of the first 12 ends to the break but dropped a four on the sixth ends to only lead, 11-8.
Jackson continued to dominate the game winning the first two ends after the break to stretch the lead out to 14-8.
However this was their final score with Herbert’s side dominating the last seven ends to take the points.
In the last game, Bruce Attrill, Lynton Keen, Ruby Traeger and Tom Griffiths were against Blake Feibig, Garry Mason, Kevin Spinks and Graham Schenke in what was a very tight game with some excellent bowls played.
The game was even with both sides winning six ends each to the break, with Attrill’s side leading 8-7 after twelve ends.
This trend continued with the score locked at nine all after 15 ends and then again at 11 all after 17.
Attrill’s side won the next end with a single to lead, 12-11 before Fiebig’s side won the next two ends putting on five shots, to lead 16-12 with one end to play.
Attrill was five shots down on the head with one bowl to play but had to play the perfect shots to trail the kitty two feet to pick up a five and win the game.
They won the match, 17-16 and gain the Blues’ only two points for the game.
Karoonda v Jervois
Karoonda stays in the middle of the field and not that far outside the four after beating Jervois Black by 11 shots.
Don Loller won by 20 shots and Barry Manuel by one.
David Graham scored two points for Jervois with a 20-shot win.
Jervois Red v Bridge Green
Jervois Red made a statement, beating Bridge Green on all rinks in a close one by six shots.
Len Gommers and Rod Harris both got up by a single shot while John Obst won by four.
With two rounds to go, top spot is still undecided.
At the moment, Bridge Purple would be warm favourite to hold on.
The side is eight points and a healthy percentage ahead of Jervois and it is now, just between these two who will finish minor premiers.
Interest still remains open for third and fourth.
Meningie is too low on the ladder to make any sort of a challenge other than to cause an upset or two.
The side did have a good win against Karoonda with Glen Andrews and Joy Marsh both getting their teams up.
Jervois continues to impress with another full points win, this time Ivy Kluske and Jim Foster both had comfortable wins against Mannum Green.
Pennant favourites Bridge Purple got the maximum points with skippers Brian Densley up by 16 shots and Kaye Simes got through by 13, both kept it on a par scoring 28 shots each.
Due to Country Carnival confusion, a shortage of players forced forfeits from Tailem Bend and RSL.