SATURDAY’S round of Lower Murray pennant bowls has set the scene for what could be the most pulsating finish to the minor round since finals were introduced.
Although both were beaten, Bridge White, in top division, and Jervois Red, in second, look set to finish minor premiers. Bridge White is top in division three but is far from assured of holding that position.
In division one the pressure is red hot as Bridge White holds a 14-point lead in top place, then the bottleneck takes shape with only three points separating second from fifth.
Bridge Blue is making a late charge, Mannum went down but hangs onto second spot, Tailem Bend nailed the top side while Jervois is waiting for a chance to pounce on them all.
Paul Smart’s team put in a gallant performance to give the Bridge White side a chance at Tailem Bend.
They didn’t quite do enough but Paul crowned his team-mates with a 19-shot skipper of the round performance.
At Tailem Bend the locals returned to form with a narrow six-shot win over pennant leader Bridge White, with two rinks up and one down by a big margin, the result was in doubt right down to the last couple of ends.
Paul Smart had his players in top gear against the Tailem team skippered by David Linde, Smart had the upper hand for most of the early ends but the scores were still relatively close up to the eighth end where the White players gradually started to take control.
Eight shots to two from the ninth to the 14th made it nine shots the difference – it was from that point to the finish however that White almost cleared the decks.
Smart’s players David Ratsch, Helen Linder and the evergreen Ron Goodwin were well on top of their opponents as they rattled on 12 shots to two over the last seven ends to make it a winning margin of 19 shots.
Although outplayed, the Tailem team can find comfort knowing that a two on the 20th end helped immensely when it came to help harness the overall result for Tailem.
David Hoare’s rink was a good winner for Tailem against Gerry Penta – the locals led 7-1 after four ends but were methodically reeled in as “Ponde” Penta’s men added nine shots to the score while their opponents could only manage a single.
It gave White’s a two-shot advantage that was quickly overtaken when Tailem replied with four on the next end.
Penta levelled the scores on the 12th but was to only score a further one shot as “Meggsie” Hoare’s troupe finished the game with a roar.
What promised to be a tight finish resulted in a blow out, the Tailem players took over at the right time scoring 14 shots over the last nine ends to achieve an important 13-shot win.
Tailem’s Duane Edwards team got away to a dream start against Darren Niblett scoring three, three, two, two and five.
A single on the seventh end followed by a two on the ninth made it 18 shots to two and practically game over at that early stage.
White, at last, did something constructive with a four on the 10th only to be swarmed over again as Tailem added four twos straight making it 20 shots the difference on the 14th end.
The next three ends belonged to Niblett as his team put on seven shots to nil to get within 13 shots – any real comeback though was out of the question as three more shots to Edwards stopped the run.
Niblett finished the game with two twos leaving Tailem up by 12 shots and the overall outcome safely in Tailem’s keeping.
Bridge Blue vs Mannum
Murray Bridge Blue were home to second-placed Mannum in what was a must win game for the home side to keep in the running for the final four.
The home side ended up winning by 16 shots which has left only three points separating the four sides vying for the second to fourth spot after all games played in the round.
Bruce Attrill was drawn against Terry McDonnell in what was a tight game for most of the day.
Mannum won the first end with a three only to see the Attrill side taking the next fur ends to lead 7-3.
McDonnell’s side then strung three winning ends together to take the lead by two shots 9-7 after eight ends.
The next four ends were shared with four shots to the home side and only three shots to Mannum to have the score at 12-11 after 12 ends.
Attrill won the next two ends but could only put on singles to take the lead back 13-12 only to drop the next end with a three to give back the lead to McDonnell.
Attrill’s side then took control of the match winning five of the last six ends to take the game by 10 shots, 26-16.
Allan Kennedy was pitted against Richard Symonds in what ended up a one-sided game with the home side winning 14 of the 21 ends played.
Kennedy took all but one of the first eight ends to lead 11-1.
Symonds won the next two ends but could only put on singles, only to drop the next three ends with again only singles to have the score at 14-3 after 13 ends played.
The last eight ends were shared with Kennedy’s side putting on a further eight shots to six to have the final score at 22-9. It ended up being the biggest winning margin for the day and was pivotal in securing the win for the home side, along with Attrill’s rink finishing off well late in their game.
Brian (Ruby) Traeger was again drawn to play Garry Fowler for the third time in the year with the result going again to the Mannum side.
Fowler started off well winning the first four ends to lead 6-0 l before Traeger’s side picked up a five on the next end to bring the score back to only one shot separating the side 6-5.
The next six ends were shared with both side putting on five shots each to have the score at 11-10 in favor of the Mannum side after 11 ends.
Fowler’s side then took control and increased the gap to six shots 16-10 over the next two ends.
The next six ends were shared with both side putting on four shot to keep the margin at six shots 20-14 after 18 ends.
Fowler then picked up a four on the next end only to lose the last two ends to Traeger’s side who could only put on a further three shot to have the final score at 24-17.
Overall the Blue side picked up a valuable 10 points to Mannum’s two points to keep in the hunt for a finals spot.
Division two competition is just as spell binding.
At last Jervois Red is showing a hint of not being invincible and will be hoping the red ramble doesn’t set in again.
Bridge Blue has sounded a warning with a win at the right time, then we have Jervois Black mounting a challenge following their win.
Tailem Bend Blue survived a shortened game at RSL, Mannum conquered the top side while Bridge White with a big win is still a chance.
RSL v Tailem Bend Blue
The game at RSL was called off by the umpire when enough ends were attained to constitute a legal game. At the time Tailem Bend Blue was in front by four shots with Peter Connolly up by three, Ian Shepherd by one and Trevor Koop figured in a drawn result.
Mannum v Jervois Red
Mannum established a 14-shot lead after 11 ends and had the top side worried.
The second half of the game was even with Jervois winning 16 ends and Mannum 15 ends.
Jervois had whittled the lead back but Mannum held on to take the game by nine shots and add 11 valuable points to the tally.
Mannum are now one point behind Tailem Bend on the table and they will be pushing hard to get into the final four over the remaining three games. Mannum’s Steve Wilkinson began with a single but Kevin Spinks answered with two singles.
Wilkinson won the next three ends with three, two and one to lead 7-2.
Singles followed for each team then Spinks hit back with four shots and a single to tie the game on eight shots after 10 ends.
Wilkinson got back into the action with a single and two threes to lead 15-8.
Spinks closed the gap with three shots and a single and then each team added three shots, 18-15.
Two shots for each team followed and Spinks took the final two ends to draw the game, 20-all.
Jerry Pannell started well with two shots and followed up with a single then John Obst added a single to open his account. Pannell added three shots over the next two ends and Obst fought back with two shots, 6-3.
Pannell picked up four valuable shots and Obst gained two shots, 10-5.
Pannell steadied and won the next three ends with singles, 13-5.
Obst got into top gear and added six shots over the next three ends to draw within two shots of the lead.
Three more singles for Pannell gave him a little breathing space, 16-11but Obst fought back and added two shots then followed up with a single to get within two shots of the lead.
Pannell steadied and won the final two ends adding five shots to take the game 21-14.
Mannum’s Maurie Davey opened up with two singles then Len Gommers stepped in with four shots.
Davey added two, five and one to set up a 10-4 lead.
Gommers added two singles and Davey replied with three shots only to see Gommers add three shots on the following end, 13-9.
Davey scored two singles and Gommers then won the next three ends with the addition of six shots to tie the game, 15-all.
Davey steadied and added three shots then followed up with two shots and a single to give himself a slight lead.
Gommers was not done and he added a single then followed up with four shots to be just one shot behind as they went into the final end.
A single for Davey gave him the game 22-20.
Bridge White rules the roost in division three but has only got t points to spare over Mannum Green which they beat last start.
Bridge Blue showed a bit of form to beat Mannum Gold and to top off the four Jervois beat Karoonda.
Those outside the four Mannum Gold, Tailem Gold and Karoonda are not without a chance but cannot afford to make a single mistake and then hope others do.
Pete Wegener, Mannum, measure out the winning bowls during the division one match against Murray Bridge Blue on Saturday morning.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.