Varying playing conditions created a range of
results on Saturday, with some matches going down to the wire while others finished as ‘blow-outs’.
In Division One, the battle for fourth spot remained alive following Owen’s upset win over Balaklava and Port Wakefield’s comfortable win over Wasleys.
Despite having only one rink up, Owen held a three shot advantage over the more fancied Balaklava combination at the end of the day.
With only two rounds left to play, Balaklava is now guaranteed a finals spot regardless of results in the two rounds. However, Owen has Port Wakefield breathing down its neck for fourth spot, just one point ahead.
Neither of these two sides has an easy ride home, with Owen having to face Riverton next and a bye in the last round, while Port Wakefield faces Hamley Bridge and Balaklava in the final two rounds.
It may depend on which side is able to secure a win and, if not, which side is able to at least gain a rink win along the way.
The final match on Saturday saw Hamley Bridge comfortably account for Mallala, virtually ending Mallala’s chances of playing in the finals.
With Wasleys having the bye in the penultimate round, much interest will be centred in the remaining Division One programmed matches.
Leaders Riverton start the program with an interesting clash against Owen. Riverton has had two 10-2 wins against Owen so far this season, with winning margins of 24 and 33 shots respectively.
This form would suggest that Riverton will hold a significant advantage in this match.
However, for Owen this is a very crucial match which it must win to remain alive for the finals.
Balaklava hosts Mallala in the second match, knowing that a win for the home side will end Mallala’s season.
The final match sees Port Wakefield venture to Hamley Bridge. In the only match played between these two sides during the season, the honours went Hamley Bridge’s way.
A similar result would be expected once again with Port Wakefield hoping to gain at least one rink win against their opponents.
Division One – February 26: Port Wakefield 74(11) (R Murphy 31, M Rankine 24, K Phelan 19) def Wasleys 55(1) (D Olive 21, D McQuade 15, G Rendell 19); Hamley Bridge 83(12) (A O’Brien 27, B Smith 28, M Durdin 28) def Mallala 47(0) (P Furst 16, J Evans 17, I Stuart 14); Owen 71(8) (G Harkness 23, B Parker 28, G Simpson 20) def Balaklava 68(4) (S Hawke 25, T Clifford 17, P Thompson 26).
Division One standings: Riverton 149 (+293), Hamley Bridge 125 (+204), Balaklava 106 (+87), Owen 91 (-88), Port Wakefield 90 (-64), Mallala 71 (-171), Wasleys 44 (-261).
Division One – March 5: Riverton vs Owen, Balaklava vs Mallala, Hamley Bridge vs Port Wakefield, Wasleys bye.
Close matches in Two Red
Second-placed Owen had its colours lowered by Port Wakefield Blue last weekend by a margin of three shots.
In the other close match, Riverton White and Mallala White had a tough tussle with Riverton White eventually securing the win by two shots with only one rink up.
Comfortable wins to Balaklava White and Hamley White concluded the round.
While the final four is yet to be settled, an increasing gap is forming between the top four and the remaining sides. For the chasing sides, the penultimate round becomes a crucial one for them.
The match of the Two Red round will see Riverton White host Hamley White. Both sides are on the same points with both also realising that whichever side wins this match will definitely play in the finals.
For the loser, there is still another week to secure a final’s spot.
While Hamley White was victorious last time around, Riverton White has only lost one match since. Perhaps this match will go down to the wire given its importance to both sides.
Leaders Balaklava White plays Port Wakefield Blue knowing that it can end Port Wakefield Blue’s chances of making the finals.
A similar fate awaits Mallala White unless it is able to upset the more fancied Owen combination.
Riverton Black’s season is over as finals are concerned, but it still can impact on the chances of other sides such as Balaklava Red that it plays this weekend.
Division Two Red – February 26: Riverton White 75(8) (R Hannaford 25, J Glistak 24, M Keast 26) def Mallala White 73(4) (J Curnow 26, G Forrest 26, M King 21); Port Wakefield Blue 70(10) (S Reimers 21, P Baum 25, P Fontaine 24) def Owen 67(2) (P Sullivan 29, L Hean 15, K Warnes 23); Balaklava White 103(12) (G Olsen 29, C Milton 30, M Olsen 44) def Riverton Black 58(0) (R Schulz 23, P Gates 18, P. Kelly 17); Hamley White 78(10) (J Bell 23, A Fyfe 20, M Nichols 35) def Balaklava Red 61(2) (C Cowan 18, G Heffernan 25, J Roberts 18).
Division Two standings: Balaklava White 152 (+256), Owen 136 (+194), Hamley White 129 (+165), Riverton White 129 (+95.25), Port Wakefield Blue 112 (+19), Balaklava Red 111 (+60), Mallala White 107 (+9), Riverton Black 99 (-27.25).
Division Two Red – 5 March 2011: Riverton White vs Hamley White, Balaklava White vs Port Wakefield Blue, Owen vs Mallala White, Balaklava Red vs Riverton Black.