There is still a faint bit of sting left in the run to the finals, but I do believe with two rounds to go and the draw the way it is, the final four placings will be Jervois, Murray Bridge Blue, Tailem Bend and Mannum.
Murray Bridge Gold could possibly win their last two games but would need Mannum to crash badly to make it.
Mannum v Jervois
The way Jervois is performing at the moment sends out a warning to all opponents.
They give the impression off that they are just warming up for the big stage, which they have made their own.
The Mannum players on the other hand, have only just been keeping their heads above water.
If they don’t chalk up any points this Saturday, they will be looking over the shoulders to see where Murray Bridge Gold is.
They were expected to do much better than they did last Saturday when Tailem Bend were missing four division one players, so only picking up one point would have been disappointing.
They were probably caught by surprise and will improve on that presentation, but even at home I feel this one is out of reach.
Jervois is going too well and should keep up the momentum to win by 11-20 shots.
Tailem Bend v Murray Bridge Blue
After last Saturday’s jolt, the Murray Bridge Blue players might be forgetting about capturing top spot.
More to the point, they will be defending the second position from a Tailem Bend side that must be bubbling with confidence with not only with the win, but also with the showing off of their second tier players who filled in very well.
It is most unusual for the Blues to be toppled by such a margin and it must be remembered they have held second for the past 10 weeks, so that says a lot for their ability and consistency.
Tailem has had a couple of setbacks recently but they will be even better after last Saturday’s lifting win and should get through again by 1-10 shots.
Karoonda v Murray Bridge Gold
This one could add a bit of spice to the minor round ratings but it will only simmer if Murray Bridge Gold can’t pull through at Karoonda.
Karoonda pulled something special out of the bag last start and will be terribly hard to beat again at home.
The side is third to bottom but should be a bit higher than.
They just missed out on some points they nearly had.
If the players can pull this one off then they might just jump up a couple of rungs.
Gold are fighting to stay alive and it is all over if they fail the bitter test.
The skippers have changed again and there is no doubt there would be a good reason for that.
They have experimented which is noble but when the going gets so tough, you bring in the heavyweights.
Ian Oats would skipper any team in this association and why he hasn’t been at the helm much sooner is a mystery.
We will see what happens but I feel that the Gold teams can live for another day with a 1-10 shot win.
Meningie v RSL
These two are very low on the ladder but there is still plenty of incentive to play for.
To win the last two games would make the ratings look a lot better.
Meningie started the season without too much enthusiasm and while they are bottom, the players did snare a couple of encouraging wins.
RSL was apprehensive about their prospects but did win three of their first four games against strong competition.
So we will see who can finish the better, Meningie will be tough at home but I’m going for RSL to finish the better by 1-10 shots.
Tailem Bend Gold v Jervois Red
Tailem Bend Gold is sitting low on the ladder while Jervois Red are perched high on the ladder and going much smoother than their opponents.
Gold must be at full strength to have a chance and that hasn’t been the case of late.
The Reds are performing much the better and will probably get away with a 1-10 shot win.
Murray Bridge White v Karoonda
Karoonda is quite a bit higher than Murray Bridge White and are coming off of an excellent win at home.
While Whites were resting with the bye.
Neither will make the four but the higher they can get, makes it look a lot better and that is what they will be striving for.
White could win at home but it is there for the taking and I think it will be Karoonda in front at the finish by 1-10 shots.
Jervois Black v Mannum
Jervois Black enjoyed a top win a couple of weeks back, then had the bye and just missed out at Karoonda,
They have the players to do it but in the end, they will find the undefeated Mannum too good by 11-20 shots.
Murray Bridge Green v RSL
Murray Bridge Green is closing in on second position and should get the points against the RSL side that like a few others, is struggling for numbers.
Murray Bridge Green is just four points behind Jervois Red so a lot rests on the Red’s result to see how far Green will climb.
RSL is not to be ignored at all, but will find it hard to match it with the strength of Green for the full game.
There will be a scramble here for positions and this is that sort of round that might complicate even more.
Positions are wide open and I couldn’t even guess how it will all pan out, just to say it will go right down to the wire.
RSL v Jervois
Unfortunately it’s hard to see RSL recovering from a player drain any time soon, so the points will go to Jervois.
Murray Bridge Purple v Mannum Gold
Murray Bridge Purple has held pride of place since round six and has only been dislodged from that position on two occasions and that was in rounds one and five.
It’s unbelievable that they could lose it now.
They are under threat however, with just eight points up their sleeves.
Mannum Gold, in fourth position cannot get to the top, they will be more intent on hanging on to their present position.
Golds are more than capable of causing an upset but I will settle for Purple in a thriller by 1-10 shots.
Tailem Bend v Meningie
Over the distance both of these have been struggling for success, Meningie bobbed up with an impressive win last Saturday and a repeat of that will be too good for Tailem Bend by 11-20 shots.
Mannum Green v Karoonda
Karoonda is low down on the list and will find Mannum Green very tough opponents at Mannum.
Green have had mixed success recently but are in third spot eyeing off second.
They won’t get any higher but the double chance will be most appealing.
That is what will drive them to a 1-10 shot win.
Murray Bridge Red v Murray Bridge Green
These two are on equal points and want to make a charge at fourth place, the loser will drop out of contention while the winner might have one last chance after Saturday to make a late entry into the finals.
There is nothing between them and a draw will be no good so I’ll go for Murray Bridge Green to win by 1-10 shots.