Lower Murray Pennant Bowls entered round 17 on the weekend, and what a weekend it was.
This round was always going to be a hazardous one, the side to suffer the most was RSL.
They were well beaten on the day and it was only a solitary point scored that kept them in the four just ahead of Bridge White on percentage.
Tailem Bend is only five points behind top-placed Mannum, but in fairness Mannum had the bye.
Jervois defeated Bridge Blue and is right in the thick of things in third spot.
Tailem Bend, with all rinks up, has made it extremely hard for Karoonda to play in the finals.
Tailem Bend v Karoonda
Tailem at home won by 14 shots making the scores on all rinks relatively close; Sam Shepherd, David Hoare, Michael Thorn and Matt Hogan contested against Rowan Zadow, Gary Zadow, Ray Rudiger and Barry Cornish.
Not a lot separated them from start to finish, Tailem won eight of the first 14 ends to hold a lead of five shots, the team did enough in the run home to extend the final score to seven shots.
It was a dead set close one between Tailem's Travis Schenke, Merv Stevens, Stuart Rooke and Kim Tomkinsom versus Josh Porker, Malcolm Waecthter, Paul Wegener and Len Symonds.
Both teams got away to a good start with Tailem just ahead by two shots on the sixth end, then Karoonda opened up winning three ends straight to go to a lead of six shots.
Tailem hit back and by the 18th end was five shots up , the team was only able to score a single after that while Karoonda added four shots to make it two in favour of Tailem at the finish.
Tailem's team Duane Edwards, Robert Hales, Kevin McDonald and Colin Baxter came home with a withering run to overcome Ian Symonds, Rohan Tomkinson, Damon Fromm and John Wegener by five shots.
It was a low scoring affair up to the 10th end where Tailem led by one shot, Karoonda won the next three to go five shots up.
From that point Tailem exploded scoring 15 shots to five to win.
Tailem levelled the scores on the 15th but Karoonda regained it to go four up, then Tailem sealed the issue scoring 10 in the last three ends.
Murray Bridge Blue v Jervois
After putting a few wins together, Murray Bridge Blue fell just short against Jervois. With Blue up at the break by one shot, Jervois got the upper hand in the second half to finish eight shots up.
Peter Shilton, Mike Ferris, Haydn Hein and Paul Smart scored a five on the seventh end to open an early lead against David Kempe, Garry Mason, Kasey Ebdon and Jack Hameister.
Blue took a nine-shot advantage into the break, but the tide soon turned, and three ends later Jervois had evened the scores. Shilton crept back in front and did enough over the last few ends to finish one shot up (21-20).
Brian Leckie, Judy Zadow, Hugh Smythe and Gerry Penta played the rink of Rodger Zarantonello, Graham Fromm, Graham Schenke and Rob Solley.
Things were tracking evenly between the two sides until Zarantonello put a few ends together and was soon ten shots in front (18-8).
Leckie staged a bit of a comeback but could not quite do enough to bridge the gap. The game ended with the locals down 16-20.
In the game between Ben Traeger, Helen Lindner, Ted Baxter and Rosalie Shilton and Graeme Herbert, Russell Schutz, Derek Vanderzon and Shawn Hicks the two sides were all square five times in the first 13 ends.
Traeger then dropped a six and a four to Herbert on the 19th saw him lead by ten. The last two ends went to the Blues, so they finished only five behind (18-23).
Gerry Penta, Brian Leckie, Judy Zadow and Hugh Smythe came up against Graeme Herbert, Shawn Hicks, Jim Brandle and Kasey Ebdon. After eight ends the sides were six all, before Penta won the next four ends to go into the break six up (12-6). The second half was a one-sided affair. Herbert got within three shots after a three on the 15th end but with the Blues taking the last six ends, they ran away with a 13 shot win, 23-10.
Scores were tight between the sides of Paul Smart, Ted Baxter, Matt Sullivan and Haydn Hein and David Kempe, Garry Mason, Derek Vanderzon and Jack Hameister for most of their game. Being equal on four occasions, neither team managed to gain any advantage without the other drawing level again. This continued right up to the 18th end when more consistent bowling from the visitors saw them add 10 shots on the last three ends to claim a 25-14 win.
On the last rink Ben Traeger, Peter Shilton, Mike Ferris and Helen Lindner played Rodger Zarantonello, Graham Fromm, Rob Solley and Graham Schenke. Over the first eight ends, seven of the scores were multiples with Traeger just trailing 11-13. The Jervois rink scored a five on the 11th end, which put them seven up and they were able to maintain that margin for the remainder of the game winning 26-18.
The two heavyweights of the competition, Meningie and Mannum, got through without too many problems and continue to rule the roost with perhaps Jervois Black and Red set to provide serious opposition.
Mannum scored favourable on all rinks against Karoonda but not by big margins: Ian Windebank by 10 over Richard Humphrys, Stephen Gregory three shots over Shaun Wood and Graham Leathers 20-19 over Peter Jones.
Meningie made it by 13 opposed to Bridge White as Ash Hunt tallied up a 10-shot winning margin over Kurt Weinmann while Brian Bashaw was a spacious winner by the same margin in his match against Brian Densley. Frank Nagy carried the banner for White being seven shots up on top of Trevor Mitchell.
Tailem Bend experienced a day to forget, losing on all rinks by large margins opposed to Jervois Black - Kevin Spinks up by 18 shots, Jim "Hippety" Brandle a 14-shot winner and John Obst a real killer home by 42 failed to hit 50 by one shot.
Jervois Red Kept up the momentum with an 18-shot win against Bridge Blue that keeps them in a threatening position. Tim Hicks up with a 14-shot margin in his match with John Pohl and Len Gommers 13 to spare against Leo Liebelt. David White picked up two points for Blues with nine-up his sleeve against John Petrovic.
The derby between Mannum Gold and Mannum Green pointed towards both being in the grand final and Gold winning it.
Last Saturday Gold won the derby by 22 shots as Winston Longbottom defeated Pat Crowe by 14 shots and David Evans was eight up against Gaynor Pitcher.
It was the Miller show at Murray Bridge where Meningie couple Greg and Ruth both went home winners. Greg made it by one shot against Denise Menzies and Ruth was a 17-shot winner over Janine Logan.
It looks a sure thing that Jervois and Karoonda will play in the finals, third or fourth doesn't really matter. Karoonda came out on top last Saturday with a one rink win, Kevin Burdett up by 13 against John Atkins while Grace Hameister for Jervois won by three opposed to Yvonne Burdett.