A change is gradually coming over the scenery in Lower Murray Bowling Association pennant lawn bowls.
Last Saturday’s round, with a couple of upset results, has paved the way for exciting times ahead.
The top three sides, at this early stage appear safe with only percentage separates them at the head of the premiership table.
Karoonda is hanging on grimly to fourth and the players are starting to take a peep over the shoulders sensing a bit of opposition vying for the position.
Bridge White v Tailem Bend
I recollect a while back remarking that the Bridge White teams were the sleeping giants, waiting for the chance to pounce on fourth spot.
It took them some time to wake up but now Bridge White skippers Ian Oats, Ted Baxter and Bruce Attrill have their team’s right in the firing line to play in the finals.
Whether they can beat Tailem Bend is another thing.
The Tailem Bend skippers Travis Schenke, Sam Shepherd and Duane Edwards have their teams on a roll and Bridge White - for the time being – will have to find another route home.
I am tipping Tailem Bend to make it by 1-10 shots.
RSL v Bridge Blue
The question heading into this match is can the RSL players reload and build on last Saturday’s triumph?
They will be at home but it is certain Bridge Blue will be hard to topple after going down last start.
Bridge Blue were weakened as they didn’t have skipper Paul Smart at the helm.
If he is back skippering then he will have regulars John Jackson and Jim Freak by his side.
It’s a tough combination but I reckon Noel Kneebone, Jason Sipos and Karen Kneebone can get their teams to do enough at home to win by 1-10.
Mannum v Karoonda
This is shaping up to be the last hurrah for the Mannum line up and Karoonda is also under threat to stay in the running.
A loss to Mannum will be a big fall from polish as they are usually around the mark come finals time.
Talking about finals; the Karoonda players are coming off a strong campaign last season and while they are still well, this is a must win.
Terry McDonnell, Peter “Hollywood” Wegener and Lynton “Pumper” Jones will need to have their teams at their very best to combat what Josh Porker, Gary Zadow (could be Rowan Zadow) and Ian Symonds will throw at them.
I’ll stick with Karoonda to win.
Make it by 11-20.
Tailem Bend v Meningie
This will be a tough one for Tailem Bend but they are certainly not out of calculations.
It will be the players first outing since the break whereas Meningie had a solid workout last Saturday just failing to secure the win.
Tailem Bend will front up with Scott Dinham, Ian Shepherd and Peter Connolly skippering the rinks who will face up against Brian Lord, Brian Bagshaw and Trevor Mitchell.
The home atmosphere will favour Tailem Bend and they should win by 1-10 shots.
Karoonda v Mannum
Mannum reeled in a big one last time out now the challenge is to take on Karoonda that wasn’t far away at Jervois.
t will be a top contest but I am going for the teams Mannum teams with Tom Towns, Ian Windebank and Jerry Pannell in charge to have the edge over their opponents Peter Jones, Paul Wegener and Richard Humphys in a close one by about five shots.
Bridge Red v RSL
We are looking at a classic encounter in this match up, Bridge Red has struck top form while RSL in top spot has swept all before them.
For Reds Bill Leggatt, Bob Johnstone and Leo Liebelt have sneaked their teams into third position and are playing dangerous bowls.
On the other side of the fence Perrin Kuchel, Allan Wooldridge and Allan Arbon have worked wonders with their teams and are in good enough form to topple Reds by 1-10.
Jervois Red v Jervois Black
What can be said about the derby at Jervois?
Jervois Red are just in the four while Jervois Blackshave struck a bit of winning form but still down in sixth position.
A win to Jervois Black will lift the spirits whereas Reds are eyeing off second position.
The skippers clash will be an interesting one,
Jevois Black have Owen Allen, Rod Harris and John Obst to guide their teams who will be a handful.
However, Jervois Red’s skippers have got the sparks flying; Chester Moore, Kevin Spinks and Derek Vanderzon will get their teams up by about nine shots and claim club bragging rights.
RSL v Meningie
RSL is low on the list and could find it hard to go the pace with the better placed Meningie outfit, RSL went down considerably but can improve on that and is a chance.
Peter Tuxford and Ian Kluge will be looking for better things but so will Meningie, they won big time on one rink that Robert Warnes skippered but went down by 10 to the Tailem Bend rink that Steve Richards controlled.
I think Meningie will be too good at the finish in a close one by eight shots.
Karoonda v Tailem Bend
Tailem Bend goes in unchanged with John Brook and Steve in charge of the teams and does have credentials to win this match.
However, so do their Karoonda opponents Val Hermann and David Schulz.
This will be another keen contest that I think Tailem Bend can master by six shots.
Murray Bridge v Mannum Gold
Murray Bridge is parked low on the ladder and I believe new skipper Judy Zadow and the experienced Jeff Tonkin will be flat out to contain second-placed Mannum Gold with Beryl Brandle and Bob Hughes in charge.
It could very well be a close encounter, but on form and positions on the ladder I must lean towards Mannum Gold to win this clash.
Mannum Green v Jervois
Jervois at the moment is top dog while Greens are holding fourth position, both won last start, Jervois more spacious compared to their opponents but it still shapes up to be an intense contest.
Jervois with John Atkins and Brian Spinks at the wheel could just make it against the teams of Peter McAvaney and Trevor Frahn.
I’ll make the margin 10 shots.