Mannum breaks away in Lower Murray bowls

All bowlers like to go into the Christmas break in a prominent position; not all will achieve it but that is the target and the break is not that far away.

This Saturday is just another Lower Murray pennant fixture that will perhaps sort the chaff from the hay.

Apart from Mannum's big lead there is nothing between the next five contenders; Tailem Bend, Karoonda, Bridge White, Jervois and RSL.

And, Bridge Blue has broken through and could now have some influence on what happens.

RSL v Mannum

The "Diggers" are fresh off a resounding victory but face another big challenge in this one.

The maestro of the club "Bones" loves a contest and is so excited at the moment he is talking finals.

I am not sure if he means as a spectator or a participant; anyway this Saturday will tell a story.

Nothing however can be taken away from what was achieved last start, it was a morale booster for skippers Noel "Bones" Kneebone, Mike Bristow and Karen Kneebone, now at home they have a mighty chance of collecting the spoils again.

The Mannum skippers Gavin Pfeiffer, Terry McDonnell and Martyn March have their teams undefeated to this point and there no chance of any relaxation, their lofty position on the ladder does not mean that can happen without too much fuss.

They declared a warning to all and are ready to enforce it by 11-20 shots.

Karoonda v Bridge Blue

This will be a massive test for Blue to show if they are back on track or still have a long way to go. It won't be easy to go the pace with the Karoonda teams that have won their past three outings and sitting in third position.

Skippers Ian Symonds, Rowan Zadow and Josh Porker, and their teammates will be full of confidence ready to make another stand.

Blue's Paul Smart, Gerry Penta and Ben Traeger will be pleased their teams have at last broken the shackles, now this is another challenge that they could find hard to manage.

I reckon Karoonda by 11-20 shots. If not, Blue are back in the running.

Jervois v Tailem Bend

Now this is a ticklish situation; both suffered defeats last time out and while they were both away from home that shouldn't make any difference.

Tailem skippers Sam Shepherd, Travis Schenke and Duane Edwards would be relieved about that as they stayed in second, the thing is now can they do enough to stay there.

The other question is will the teams skippered by Rodger Zarantonello, Graeme Herbert and Russell Schulz lose three straight?

I am tipping they will by a margin of 1-10 shots.

Jervois have, however, slipped outside the four so that could be a telling factor, then though Tailem could suffer the same fate.

Division two

Jervois Black v Jervois Red

The derbies are always chock full of interest and this one will be a sizzler. Black are only two points ahead of their opponents, third and fourth, which will no doubt make for a high standard pressure packed game of bowls.

For Red, the teams of Chester Moore, Dennis Hicks and Heather Fromm are coming off a very spacious. On the other hand Rod Harris, John Obst and Owen Allen played out a tough one shot win against remarkably good company. They are both on about the same level but I think Black might win, 1-10 shots.

Bridge Green v Mannum

Green, after being among the leaders a few weeks back, have fallen off the pace and John Pohl, Greg Burton and Bill Legget could find the teams of Thomas Towns, Stephen Gregory and Ian Windenbank a bit too hot to handle.

Green are not far out of the ratings but I am going for Mannum to be too strong by 11-20.

Meningie v Karoonda

This is a case of Meningie top and Karoonda low on the list and what's more the game will be played by the lake.

The visitors skippers Kevin Burdett, Richard Humphys and Robin Burdett are up to the task but may not have the depth to match what Ash Hunt, Trevor Mitchell and Brian Bagshaw will front up with.

The margin could be around 11-20 shots.

RSL v Tailem Bend

Tailem Bend has taken a tumble over the past couple of weeks and dropped down to seventh but the teams of Steven Gordge, Damian Ackland and John Gregory are not far off the pace and capable of winning this, even though the RSL teams skippered by David Graham, David Thiele and Perrin Kuchel are above them on the ladder.

There won't be much in it but could fall Tailem's way by 1-10 shots.

Division three

Tailem Bend v Karoonda

These two are struggling for points and both are about at the same level so it looks like it will be an even contest.

Robert Hughes and Ruth Cross were at the helm last Saturday but won't be dwelling on that, they will come up against Robyn Burdett and Barb. Pope who are an accomplished duo who will pull the right strings, because it is at Tailem I will go for the locals in a close 1-10.

Jervois v Murray Bridge

Likewise, these two are evenly-matched, they are both coming off losses but Jervois with Greg Miller and John Atkins in charge holds a 10 point lead over their opponents. That won't mean much at this stage and Brian Hood and Denise Menzies are more than capable of getting their teams up, even so it could be Jervois around 1-10 shots.

Meningie v Mannum Green

Meningie is set up in the middle of the field but not all that far behind their opponents, they both had wins with Meningie setting up a bigger margin which doesn't mean much in different situations.

Meningie skippers Wayne Lehmann and Robert Warnes have been around for a long time and probably have the edge over Beryl Brandle and Bob Hughes. So I will use experience as the reason Meningie can win by 11-20 shots.

Mannum Gold v RSL

The Gold players are top and favourites to win the flag, even at this infancy stage of the season.

David Evans and Winston Longbottom have strong teams available that will be hard for the RSL duo and their teams for Steve McNamara and Ian Kluge to overcome. The margin could be 21 -30. It doesn't matter really as long as it is a virtuous game.