The pressure just mounts and mounts, only Bridge Blue, Jervois and Mannum appear to be safely in the four and the latter two add further interest by battling it out for second position.
Things would have to go terribly wrong for Blue to be levered out of top spot. So the struggle is on between Bridge White, Karoonda and Tailem Bend which one will squeeze into fourth.
It’s a mystery as all three have to recover from hurtful wounds.
Karoonda vs Bridge White
Karoonda suffered an alarming loss at Jervois something that will take a bit of recuperating from, they are a much better side than they showed on that day and now back at home the players will feel a lot more comfortable and should put up a much better performance.
White are under the pump just as much as Karoonda and, after their recent failure, will travel into the Mallee as nervous as kittens.
They are evenly matched which will make for an enthralling battle that I am tipping Karoonda can win by 1-10 shots.
Tailem Bend vs Jervois
Tailem Bend will be staring down the barrel again this Saturday, the players are struggling to win a game and in view of how Jervois performed last Saturday will find it hard to rise to the occasion for what will be a vital clash.
Being at home won’t help in the slightest, to get anywhere the players must knuckle down and support each other throughout the 25 ends.
On the other side of the fence Jervois will be doing just that and will certainly not be dwelling on last Saturday’s big win.
The only thing that the Bluds will be reminiscing about is last season’s Grand Final loss, the hurt that went with that is still simmering and will keep them on track for another crack at it.
The form guide doesn’t always ring true, upsets do occur, but the Jervois teams are going well enough to get over the line by 1-10 shots.
Mannum vs RSL
The story is out that the RSL teams are on the threshold of major development, I am not sure if they are putting down their bowls for shovels, or something mysterious has taken place on the green during the long break.
Whatever the plans are they will find it very hard to topple a revamped Mannum side at home.
There have been changes at Mannum so much so that many thought the Div 2 side had turned up at The Bridge instead of the premier contingent.
Anyway they got the job done in no uncertain manner and are now spot on to get out the hammer and nails. I’ll make the margin 11-20 shots.
Jervois Black and Mannum are sparring for top position with Bridge Red and Bridge Green third and fourth with Meningie lurking just outside the four.
Tailem Bend vs Meningie
Tailem Bend hasn’t fronted up for about seven weeks so the players could be short of a run. The side is bottom so the going might be tough to get some much needed points. Meningie on the other hand scrambled home for an eight-shot win and is now poised to make a real positive move.
Even at home Tailem has the odds against them and even though Meningie will be undermanned it looks like a 11-20 win.
RSL vs Mannum
Now this one could be very interesting, RSL almost landed a big one last start whereas Mannum suffered a rare loss and will be expected to bounce back from that.
That won’t be easy to do however as RSL must be given a chance, something that would have been unthinkable a few weeks back. In fact I am jumping on the band wagon and picking RSL to win by 1-10 shots.
Jervois Black vs Karoonda
Blacks have emerged as the side to beat but will find a rejuvenated Karoonda side very hard to deal with. Karoonda toppled a side well below them on the ladder which should give them confidence to do some damage again.
It’s not beyond them but I reckon with Blacks on a roll they will keep up the momentum to do it by 11-20.
Jervois Red vs Bridge Red
Both of these were well in the running to make big stands last start but neither really impressed, Jervois Red was beaten while Bridge Red only fell in opposed to a side well below them on the ladder.
So now they face each other and we will see which one is the big improver, it was a setback that both would be wondering about. I’m going for Bridge Red the side with a truck load of experience to get through by 11-20 shots.
The top four is as good as settled here, only the positions have to be decided. Mannum Green, Mannum Gold, Jervois and Murray Bridge will make up the major.
Mannum Green vs RSL
Mannum Green is going along very nicely on the top rung and will go in favourites to win this clash at Mannum. Having said that the RSL players are fresh off a morale boosting win and their chances cannot be discarded.
Greens are a proven combination while RSL still has a bit of convincing to do, so at this stage the pendulum swings towards Mannum by 11-20.
Jervois vs Mannum Gold
These two are on equal points with Gold holding second on percentage, so it should be the match of the round.
Gold are coming off a draw with Tailem Bend while Jervois is on the rise with a commanding 29 shot margin. This makes me think they can get the result again this time by much less around 11 shots.
Karoonda vs Meningie
These two are low on the ladder with not much between them, even so it will still be a competitive contest with the home green swinging it in Karoonda’s favour by about 11 shots.
Murray Bridge vs Tailem Bend
The Bridge is in the middle of the field with Tailem bottom, I think this is a false reading Tailem was very good last time out while the Bridge struggled moderately to go down by a considerably margin.
I’ll stay with Tailem to win by 7 shots.