Time is ticking on and an early pace wins the race, having said that one side in particular will be getting very jittery.
Tailem Bend V Bridge White
This match holds immense attention and the one under the pump the most is the home side Tailem Bend. With the bye Tailem has only appeared twice for two narrow losses.
You don’t get many points for close ones and the facts are Tailem is bottom and now facing an uphill battle to relieve the pressure.
White’s have toughed it out and have done enough to be in the four, there is little doubt they will be quietly confident about their chances in this one and very keen to add to their opponents woes.
Also the players might be thinking that in the long run Tailem might be the ones to challenge them for fourth spot.
Let’s face specifics Tailem Bend cannot win this match, White’s are in a better frame of mind and performing better, they are in the four and have the incentive to stay there, whereas Tailem cannot afford to put a foot wrong. This is confidence verse trepidation so I will go for White’s by 1-10 shots.
Bridge Blue V RSL
Bridge Blue’s only went along for the ride last Saturday and received quite a jolt, no panic stations though, Mannum is a very good side and the players will certainly win more than their share of games.
It’s the points that count and Blue’s might have been lucky to get any instead of the two.
Anyway that is in the past, now they face up to the RSL players who almost snared full points last Saturday. This will be much tougher for them but if skippers Gary Daniel, Tony Gill and Noel Kneebone can firmly eyeball their teammates over the full 25 ends then they have an outside chance of stirring the pot.
I can’t see how they can outstare Paul Smart, Bruce Attrill and Gerry Penta for any length of time, last Saturday was just a minor hic- cup and over the full distance with the heat right on Blue’s will win this encounter by 11-20 shots perhaps a little more if their opponents get a slow start.
Karoonda v Mannum
This will be an extreme challenge for Karoonda, the side is at home where at times the players get through when least expected. I don’t think this will be one of those times; the Mannum teams are travelling extremely well and going for a hat trick of wins.
Early reports were that they might not be up to their previous season’s standard, that assumption can be discarded they look strong on every line and head coach Tommy Towns would be more than pleased with their progress at this stage.
I can’t analyse every player but there is a couple who stick in my mind as being inspirational to the Mannum cause, both are in the same team, Richard “Dickie” Symons on the lead and skipper Lynton Jones, both have a bit of mongrel in their game while one starts the match the other finishes it.
Karoonda has the players to make a big impression and don’t lack anything in the skippers department, Josh Porker, Gary Zadow and Ian Symonds will have their players right up to this task, even so I will stick with Mannum by 11-20.
This time last season Jervois Black was at the foot of the table, a big resurgence presently has the side in top position. That more than likely will be short lived as Blacks have the bye and Mannum is prepared to take over. Those two hold a reasonable lead over the rest of the field with Bridge Red third and Tailem Bend fourth on percentage from Jervois Red.
RSL V Meningie
These two are low on the ladder but I feel if Meningie can put together a full muster of players they should come up better than RSL and win by 21-30.
Bridge Green V Tailem Bend
Tailem Bend is gradually getting a full list together and will need everyone of them to match Bridge Green on Green’s carpet. Tailem won on two rinks last start but it wasn’t by enough to cover the other one, on the other hand Green’s are coming off the bye which doesn’t tell me much about their form so I will settle with Tailem by 1-10.
Jervois Red V Mannum
This one holds interest , Mannum will be searching for top position while Reds need a win to climb a notch or two which will put them right in the firing line. Red’s lost their last game but it was a close final result with nothing between any of the three rinks, so it could have went either way. In comparison Mannum bolted in and while this one will no doubt be a bit harder to manage I’ll say Mannum will be too good by 11-20 shots.
Karoonda V Bridge Red
Karoonda has not troubled the scoreboard all that much but does have the teams to do better than what’s been happening. Skipper’s Barry Manuel, Kevin Burdett and Richard Humphry’s can do a lot of damage but really need to extract a lot more from their players, especially at home.
Bridge Red’s are up in third position which tells a story of favouritism, it is obvious though that skippers Barry Kirchner, Kurt Weinmann, Peter White and their team-mates will have no fear of playing on a grass green even though they play and practice on something a little bit more smother.
The Reds by 1-10.
Mannum Green is the pacemaker here, just a couple of points in front of Bridge Purple then Meningie and Jervois make up the four, it is unfortunate that a lot of points have come courtesy of forfeits, something that I believe will be addressed very soon.
Mannum Green V Bridge Grey
Bridge Grey with Brian Densley and David Trevorrow at the helm have suddenly picked up some points and will soon be moving up from sixth position. Mannum Green is already the table leader after a close win last Saturday, I do think though that Grey, which won very nicely will do it again by 1-10.
Jervois V Meningie
Jervois has already received a few forfeits and Meningie has also picked up some cheap points, they are locked together on equal points making me unsure what could happen. I’ll pick Jervois at home to win by 11-20.
Karoonda V Bridge Purple
Purple’s are on song for top position and that is what will be on the players’ minds as they make the trip to Karoonda, they are fresh off a very good win whereas Karoonda went down by quite a margin.
I’m tipping Purple will be too strong by 11-10.
Mannum Gold V Tailem Bend Gold
No matter what happens here forfeit or play Mannum Gold will get the points.
Tailem Bend Blue V RSL
Tailem Bend Blue has been getting the odd rink points but is still low down on the ladder, RSL has been shortage on numbers but will compete after a series of forfeit.
That is a magnificent sign for the club but I wouldn’t know where the players come from. I do believe though that Noel rode his bike far and wide to secure the numbers. Tailem by 1-10 at home.