Tight new year round

FOCUS: Jervois' Derek Vanderzon keeping his cool in a recent clash with Mannum. Photo: William Bailey.
FOCUS: Jervois' Derek Vanderzon keeping his cool in a recent clash with Mannum. Photo: William Bailey.

Division One

There are still nine weeks to go to complete the minor round, so there is still ample time for those off the pace at the moment to turn their fortunes around.

It won’t be easy, but as there is only 11 points between second and sixth opportunities do exist, and it’s Mannum and Tailem Bend outside the four who need to gather some points very quickly.

Bridge Blue is going well enough to finish minor premiers, then comes Jervois, Bridge White and Karoonda, all still vulnerable.

RSL trailing the field will be planning for next season Jervois has two byes to go while all the other contenders have just the one, so that is an extra hurdle in the run home the the Bluds will have to clear.

Bridge White vs Tailem Bend

This could well be the Eagles last chance to put a bit of uprightness into their points tally. They haven’t been all that far away at times but not finishing games off when in a sound position has hurt them badly.

Now the teams have to do everything right from now right up to the very last minor round match.

White are going along nicely and the win against Jervois at Jervois was a courageous effort that has placed them with self-confidence for the run home.

In the battle of the skippers it will be White’s Ian Oats, Ted Baxter and Chester Moore pitted against Duane Edwards, Sam Shepherd and Merv Stevens, this will make for superb contest that I reckon White’s can win by between 1-10 shots.

RSL vs Bridge Blue

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to say that the RSL deputation is in with a good chance of toppling the flag favourites?

It won’t happen, the Blue players know the importance of holding the minor-premiership, and that can only happen if they win most of the games along the journey. They would have had maximum points pencilled in indelibly for this one a long time ago.

Bruce Attrill, Paul Smart and Gerry Penta are a trio of big time skippers with a bag full of credentials that is hard to match. There is no doubt RSL skippers Mike Bristow, Trevor Pevic and Noel Kneebone will have their teams in the running for a long time but they will need to be firing together for the whole 21 ends.

The tide is high and I am tipping RSL will go under by 21- 30 shots.

Mannum vs Karoonda

This will be the blockbuster fixture of the round, Karoonda is doing enough to be a serious contender for the final four, and wouldn’t that be sensational for the club and the competition.

The players have to earn the right however making this a must win situation.

That goes for Mannum as well. The Roos are only three points behind their opponents so both sides face the huge task of making the four a resting place.

Mannum got through the twilight game okay while Karoonda went into the break following a record club win.

Mannum is always threatening and certainly have the teams to get the job done, Peter ‘Hollywood’ Wegener, Graham Wakefied and Lynton Jones are skippers who set a high standard and at home always find a bit extra.

I like the move of skipper Gary Zadow back to Karoonda, that is where he belongs, then there is the other two skippers Josh Porker and Ian Symonds pumping their teams up.

Mannum will start favourite, but I am going for Karoonda to win a classic by 1-10 shots.

EYES: Karoonda's Barry Cornish rolling against Murray Bridge in November last year. Photo: William Bailey.

EYES: Karoonda's Barry Cornish rolling against Murray Bridge in November last year. Photo: William Bailey.

Division Two

Mannum still holds top position but only by four points ahead of Jervois Black, then there is a gap of 15 points to Bridge Green which heads Bridge Red by six.

Meningie is closing the gap with Jervois Red next still in the running.

Bridge Green vs Jervois Red

This should be a very stimulating encounter.

Green will stay a little bit closer if they win whereas Red if they get through could make a bold move that will really throw the gate wide open for fourth spot or even third.

Equally they have a lot to play for, and in such good form it will be a very tight battle that I think Jervois Red can win by 1-10 and join in the finals race.

Mannum vs Bridge Red

Again this has all the makings of another classic confrontation, both went down last start but that was a long time ago and probably neither will even remember the score.

There is still a long way to go but it is a sure thing that the Mannum side will be desperate to get some space at the top.

Even if they win that won’t happen this week it will only keep them in the prime position for another week, and a loss might not hurt them all that much either.

On the other hand points are vital for Bridge Red to stay in the four, challenges are coming and a loss will be a real setback.

Reds are certainly right in it and capable of getting over the line, just the same it is hard to go past Mannum who will get back on track with a 11 – 20 win at home.

Tailem Bend vs Karoonda

Both of these sides are low on the ladder and giving the leaders a huge start. It’s been a disappointing season so far and now faces a mammoth task to improve their positions.

It will be played at Tailem Bend and that could help the locals to a 1-10 win.

RSL vs Jervois Black

Being at home will help RSL but really positions on the ladder suggest that Blacks on the hunt for top spot will be too strong and most likely get away with a 11-20 shot win.

Division Three

Placings in the top four are as tight as a drum, Mannum Gold on 54 points is ahead of Murray Bridge on percentage, Mannum Green is third also trailing on percentage Jervois is fourth only four points away.

The bottom four will be just playing the season out for as many wins as they can muster.

Tailem Bend vs RSL

These two are in the lower half but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a contest. It will be as keen as any other game, being at Tailem Bend I am tipping the locals will make it through by 1-10 shots.

Meningie vs Mannum Gold

This is top opposed to third to bottom, so that would point towards an easy win to Mannum, that could easily be the case but being at Meningie could even things up a bit.

It is a long trip but I am going for Mannum to negotiate it okay and make it by 11-20 shots.

Karoonda vs Jervois

Jervois is protecting fourth spot and being ahead of Karoonda by 26 points will hold it comfortably, I do think though that at home Karoonda can cause an upset by a margin of nine shots.

Murray Bridge vs Mannum Green

This will be the game of the round. Second against third – should produce a great contest that could go either way.

Both are searching for enough points that might get them top spot.

That won’t happen this week but the winner will stay in a strong position. Mannum Green will win a cliffhanger by three shots. 

  • If the Friday evening Saturday forecast is 40 degrees or higher, all matches will be cancelled.
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