Blue leads the pack

IN CONTROL: Karen Kneebone from Murray Bridge RSL during her side's clash against Murray Bridge Blue on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.
IN CONTROL: Karen Kneebone from Murray Bridge RSL during her side's clash against Murray Bridge Blue on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

Last Saturday’s results proved that nothing can be taken for granted, which strongly suggests that we are in for a tantalising season. 

With Bridge Blues 12 points clear of the field it certainly makes them the dominant side of the competition, not unbeatable though, that has already been proved. 

Karoonda in second place really breathes a bit of life into the competition with a win against Mannum.

Tailem Bend languish on the bottom rung of the ladder with the massive task ahead of keeping their reputation of perennial finalist intact.

Division One

Karoonda vs Jervois

There could not be a better opportunity than this for Karoonda to really make a stand and confirm they are the real deal.

Last week’s 12 shot win with all rinks up against a side fresh off toppling the top side cannot be denied, but at the moment just a memory, now the players must take it up to their opponents and claim another big scalp.

I am not aware if Josh Parker wasn’t available or just didn’t skipper the same goes for Stephen Kroehn, whatever the teams of Gary Zadow. Len Symonds and Ian Symonds got the job done in fine style.

The Jervois players might be somewhat nervous about this encounter at Karoonda; favourites have fallen there over the years like leaves in autumn.

The grass green is certainly not a mine field, in fact it could be a lot truer than a lot of synthetic surfaces, so experienced skippers like Graham Fromm, Graeme Herbert, David Kempe and their teams should have no fear about that. They could be out bowled on the day by 1-10 shots.

Mannum vs Bridge White

Mannum back at home will feel a lot more comfortable this time around and I am sure the players will not dwell on their loss at all, even so it was a bit strange that teams skippered by the calibre of Lynton Jones, Graham Wakefield and Peter Wegener all went down together on the one day.

Whites haven’t done much wrong and I don’t think last Saturday’s drawn result would have hurt them much at all as they did get the majority of the points.

To win, skippers Ted Baxter, Chester Moore and Les Trewren will need to have their players right on the ball from start to finish.

I do except Mannum, who have plenty of incentive, to win at home by 11-20.

Tailem Bend vs Bridge Blue

This might be closer than a lot of people might think, in view of the positions on the ladder, top verse bottom, that might sound like a silly statement.

There is however a chance that the Eagles could be near full strength, if that is the case it will be a blockbuster of a game.

Duane Edwards after missing last week will be back but perhaps no guarantee he will line up as skipper after a long flight from Darwin and Scotty “Big Dog” Dinham’s form.

Another rumour doing the rounds is that the Coffee Club is putting immense pressure on Blue’s skipper Paul Smart to have a good look at his team.

I don’t think anything drastic will occur, but where there is smoke there’s fire, and one or two could be up early to scan team sheets.

Changes or not the Eagles will get their wings clipped by Blues, probably by about 11-20 snips of the scissors.

ROLL: Murray Bridge Blue's Helen Linder guiding her bowl down the green.

ROLL: Murray Bridge Blue's Helen Linder guiding her bowl down the green.

Division Two

Mannum leads the field here ahead of Jervois Black and the two Bridge Colours Red and Green, Tailem Bend, Jervois Red and Meningie are not all that far away from fourth spot.

So there is plenty of interest in this competition and could be more when some sides have a full list to pick from.

Meningie vs Bridge Green

The Meningie side might be still reeling from the shock loss they received last start, I say shock because the Lakesiders have a few more players with Division One experience than that of RSL, anyway anything can happen on the day.

Greens are more than capable of making it two straight and very impressive last Saturday, but just the sameI’m going for Meningie to make amends at home in a close one by 1-10.

RSL vs Jervois Red

Jervois Reds are not going as well as expected and quite low on the ladder, not as low as RSL though and should start to make a move at last.

They have been the trendsetters over the past few years and wouldn’t be happy about taking the back seat. RSL will be walking tall and in with a big chance, I will however select Reds to be too good by 11-20 shots.

Tailem Bend vs Jervois Black

This will be one of those across the river rivalry’s that brings out the best in both sides, Blacks are certainly travelling much better at the moment,resulting in a big gap between the two on the ladder.

I wouldn’t take too much notice of that and I am sure Blacks wouldn’t be over confident either.

They are coming off the bye which no doubt will help as quite a few of them like a rest every now and then. It shows all the signs of being a tense clash which Blacks will eventually win by 11-20 shots.

Mannum vs Karoonda

Mannum is usually the early leader and once again is sitting nicely in top position quite a distance from Karoonda which will find the going tough at Mannum.

That is not to say the Mallee assembly is right out of it, not a bit, they won on 2 rinks in their last loss which will give the players confidence for this one.

Mannum though appear to hold a strong advantage, especially at home, they love top position and will strengthen their grip on it with a 11-20.

Division Three

This competition has been redrawn to eliminate forfeits, so now we have 8 sides instead of 10 and hopefully a healthier contest. As it is Mannum Green, Jervois, Murray Bridge and Mannum Gold make up the four, followed by Meningie, Karoonda, Tailem Bend and RSL.

RSL vs Mannum Green

This is top against bottom so I cannot see an upset happening. Greens by 21-30.

Mannum Gold vs Jervois

This could be an evenly contested battle with Jervois placed second and Golds fourth, there is really though not much between so I will go for Mannum Gold at home by 1-10.

Meningie vs Karoonda

Meningie is just outside the four, two points ahead of their opponents but Meningie did get points for forfeits so I will at a complete guess say Karoonda by 1-10.

Tailem Bend vs Murray Bridge

I have no idea how the withdrawals will affect these two so I will suggest Tailem Bend at home and reassess the situation next week.

RIP Jack