The excitement builds. If last Saturday was termed the killer round, this one is just as important, perhaps even more so.
Points are up for grabs in all three fixtures and nothing is taken for granted.
Bridge Blue is coming off the bye and still holds top position, just three points ahead of a threatening Mannum side. After that, there is a bit of a gap with third and fourth spots starting to beckon.
Tailem Bend vs RSL
Tailem Bend rose from the ashes last Saturday and performed brilliantly to defeat arch rival Jervois on all rinks. While it was a morale booster that got the Golden Eagles off the bottom rung of the ladder, it would be wise though to remember the old adage about the swallow and the summer months.
That would apply to an eagle as well.
RSL missed out on points last Saturday, so to prevent permanent lodgings at the foot of the table, skippers Noel Kneebone, Gary Daniel and Keogh will need to have their teams up-and-about, there is a Tailem Bend connection in this side so that should bring on a few claps of thunder.
I’m tipping Tailem skippers Duane Edwards, Rob. Hales and Sam Shepherd will be driven to the hilt for this one and should get away with a 11-20 win.
Mannum vs Jervois
This will be a dead set classic with Mannum challenging for top and Jervois hanging grimly on to fourth position.
Will they go to Mannum in the right frame of mind or will the tears still be flowing? I reckon skippers Graeme Herbert, Graham ‘Prez’ Fromm and David Kempe will be extremely nervous.
Mannum on the other hand is bubbling with confidence. They got through a dicey contest at RSL without too many problems and will now face up at home as favourites.
Peter ‘Hollywood’ Wegener, Lynton Jones and Graham Wakefield are a remarkably relaxed trio who have their troupe chafing at the bit.
Anyway, I’m tipping them to win a thriller by 1-10 shots.
Karoonda vs Bridge Blue
This will be another sharply contested melee in the Mallee that could go right down to the wire. Blue have rested courtesy of the bye and will be out to tighten their grip on the prized top position.
I think they can do it. The three teams captained by Paul Smart, Gerry Penta and Bruce Attrill have been playing super bowls all season and will look forward to this clash.
They will have to be right at their best as the opposition teams of Kim Tomkinson, Josh Parker and Ian Symonds were desperately unlucky to only go down by two shots last start, they will be ready and able but I will stick with Blue to make it by 11-20 shots.
Mannum had the bye but managed to stay the leader of the competition, just ahead of Jervois Black by four points. Bridge Red are a further seven points away with a gap of eight points to Meningie. Bridge Green sit just outside the four on percentage.
With all matches evenly poised this round promises to be a blockbuster.
Meningie vs Jervois Black
Black have been going along very nicely until a stumble last outing deprived them of top spot, now they have to regroup to hold their high position, there is no doubt the can recover but it won’t be easy at Meningie.
The locals got away with a win but it wasn’t all that impressive, that could change back at home so I will go for the locals by 1-10 shots.
Jervois Red vs Karoonda
Jervois Red have lost their past couple outings, so there is no doubt they will be looking very hard at this engagement. They are low on the ladder but Karoonda are even lower which makes me think, at home, Red can get the points in a close one by 1-10 shots.
Bridge Green vs Bridge Red
Bridge Red is in third position but on form the players are poised to go much higher quickly, in fact having felt their presence already, I will say they are hot favourites for the flag already. Unless of course a few are elevated to Division One when needed.
Just the same, Greens can’t be faulted either and will be right in this contest to the bitter end. This will be one of those derby’s well worth watching, plenty of skill mixed with a sprinkling of aggression, all in the spirit of the game. Red to win by 11-20.
Tailem Bend vs Mannum
Mannum is fresh off the bye but has done enough along the way to still be in top position. That form will be hard for their opponents to match. Tailem is struggling to put it all together at the moment and positions on the ladder suggest that Mannum will win by 11-20.
The top four here could not be much tighter. Bridge is top on 38 points, ahead of Mannum Green on percentage. Mannum Gold is on 36 points in front of Jervois by two points, the other four have a bit of catching up to do.
Tailem Bend vs Karoonda
Tailem Bend is second to bottom and it goes without saying has a mighty lot of point mustering to do before getting anywhere near the leaders. Karoonda is not going too bad 10 points behind in fourth place.
Tailem could win but I must lean towards Karoonda by about six shots.
Jervois vs RSL
Jervois in the four is travelling alright, especially with Greg ‘The Man’ Miller at the helm. He will have to have his teams at their best, but RSL got through with a very nice win last start.
I do think, at Jervois though, the locals will get it done in a close one by 1-10 shots.
Meningie vs Mannum Green
Like a couple of others the Meningie teams are struggling and even at home will find Mannum too strong to keep up with.
Mannum Gold vs Murray Bridge
This will be a very keen game of bowls, the Bridge teams are top but will find this a lot harder to tackle than what they recently experienced. Mannum Gold’s in third position are certainly ready to swoop on those above them.
That is what I am tipping will happen, they could even leap to top after a 11-20 win.