What an exciting Round 11, with some upsets & some interesting movement in the ladder. We did well on the predictions with a stunning failure as not a single prediction came in this week so significant egg on face. We predicted a few upsets but placed them all wrong. Thankfully we're not playing for sheep stations.
We see a reverse in the Home ground dominance as we see the Away wins coming through now, 4 of the 5 games this Round were won by the Away side so I think we'll see this trend continuing over the coming Rounds but probably not for R12 as that seems locked in for mostly Home wins. We might try & do our traditional annual R12 review after the next Round & fire up the predictor machine for 1 last guess at the crystal ball to see who finishes where after R18.
Rossmoyne 64 (1) v Bassendean 1 91 (7)
Rawley Lang 14 v Russell Ellis 21
John Carter 16 v Simon Alden 19
Walter Harvey 10 v Jovan Krstic 34
Craig Edson 24 v Stein Davies 17
We had Basso in the post R6 predictions for this game & changed last minute which shows you should stick with the original call as the Lions cruised to a massive win by nearly 30 shots. We looked for that perfect matchup for Basso with Alden getting Carter & didn't that work out perfectly with maybe some slight of hands in the match room when doing the cards?! Alden had Carter by 3 shots in a tight tussle with Carter getting the early lead but Alden's side went 9 in a row & couldn't be reeled in. Even if they drew or even lost by 1-2 shots they took away the River Rats main threat which allowed the others to prod & poke the weaker rinks to see who would drop numbers. Krstic's side was happy to step up & apply early pressure to a Harvey side running 5 from 10. This worked a treat as Krstic demolished Harvey's side by 34-10, leading right out of the gates & not looking back, to give the Lions a massive look at the Agg. Lang struggled against Ellis's side who absolutely needed a big win to break that 0-6 & they did it well by 7 shots. Davies front end helped control the scores throughout the day but they eventually lost their nice unbeaten run as they got stuck in an Edson sandwich with Nigel coming home late & Craig had a day out as they cruised to a 7 shot win to sink the Davies rink.
Rossmoyne won't be happy dropping a home game by this margin & with Sorrento winning away they are now back in that troubled 7th spot but have their easiest patch coming up in Feb'22 which they need to get max points to ensure safety. In the context of the ladder, it did not change the Basso position too much against the top side although they did grab 1pt more than the Mounters so technically they closed the gap. However, if they had lost & with Gosnells dropping the bundle at Quinns then it would be close to game over for the chasing lot. There is still only 8.5pts between Basso & the top with that R18 game to come so it's still game on with plenty more games between now & then.
SKIP Total v SHOTS 21
Barry Kalinowsky 15 v Neville Costello 21
George (dr) Jackson 14 v Christopher Parr 19
Dennis Pattullo 20 v Christopher Buchholz 17
Oh my Wizards, how you are making life very difficult for yourselves & now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the ladder. Looks like the Roo's can cross the Swan after all & are officially the hottest team in the comp with their 3 in a row. It might not have been a big win but winning by 5 shots or 50 shots makes no difference when you grab 6pts away. The Roo's maintain that 4th spot & increase that margin to 5th spot which will help them alot.
Cousens did give the Wizards a nice start as they pushed past Toster by 3 shots. Cousens needed that win as they haven't seen the winners circle since R3 so they did well to get that monkey off their back. Kalinowsky couldn't keep up with the Costello side as they fell to the Roo's outfit by 6shots. Jackson's horror run continued as Parr had the answers late in the game to win by 5 shots, sending the Jackson rink to 3 from 11 for the season. Pattullo found some great shots late to take the Roo's best rink in Buchholz by 3 shots in a great performance by the Wizards best performing rink this season.
Back to the drawing board for the Wizards as maybe they can take a leaf from Quinns play book over the next few weeks. The Roo's are back on track now after really hitting their straps over the last few Rounds. Only 5pts off 3rd & nice gap to 5th, all is looking well.
Result: Wanneroo 6 - 2
Prediction: Warnbro 6 - 2
Bassendean 2 66 (2) v Sorrento 81 (6)
Peter Madigan 20 v John Brown 18
Eugene O'Sullivan 20 v Ronald Rogers 16
Neil Strachan 10 v Richard Bone 26
Mark Cook 16 v Ian Linford 21
This was the usual pressure game for both sides that looks like nothing on paper with the lower half sides squaring up but the points are massive for both sides as they head down the home stretch. Unfortunately for Basso we did have them winning this in the predictor so they'll need a minimum of 1 upset over the next few Rounds to get them close to that 45pt mark to challenge Warnbro or Quinns for that playoff spot.
Madigan took Brown by 2 shots in a close game for most of the day but the Home ground advantage gave them the edge. O'Sullivan's side got back into the winners circle after some tough s weeks to knock 4 shots on a Rogers side that were travelling reasonably over the last few Rounds. Cook's side are now 0-4 & couldn't get in front of Linford when it mattered & the Swans side got a valuable point back for Sorrento by 5 shots. So with the Agg all square it all came down to Strachan v Bone, winner gets the Agg & Bone was dominant all day & gave the Lions side nothing all day with the Strachan rink struggling to get to double figures. A huge 16 shot win gave the Swans the Agg & their 2nd away win all season. Unsure if they'll get many more away wins but this one helped a lot.
Sorrrento have another great chance next week to grab another big Agg & they'll need every point over the next 3 Rounds as they have a horror home stretch from there to R18. Basso have their involuntary 'kneeling' game in R12 against Basso 1 (joking) so we'd expect 0pts there & then have a run playing mostly top 4 teams so it'll be a tough patch for them over Feb.
John Berecz 19 v Frank Carbone 20
Steve O'Neill 15 v Brett Holland 18
Leith Oldham 31 v Grant Nicol 14
Shane Smith 18 v Robert Foy 16
The selectors will be licking their lips as they repeatedly pat each other on the back as they celebrate Quinns being back. Welcome back Quinns as they crawl off the bottom of the ladder for the first time in a while. 2 in a row against top 3 sides is just massive & now they have the confidence to do anything over the next few Rounds. Those 2 wins will be huge to Quinns survival & now they have a real chance at demotional playoffs which they'll fancy their chances.
The Kookaburra's might have looked at R10 with the Mounters losing to Quinns & think well that's unfortunate but that won't happen to us, we wont lose to the bottom side?! Nek minute..........15 shots down & a lonely trip back to Gosnells for a deflated 16. This result puts immense pressure on that R15 fixture against the top side if the fancy 1 last swing at the 1 clean ticket to the big dance but they've a tough run home so it's hard to see them making 11pts on the top side.
What was surprising was the matchup with both sides top rinks getting beaten. Berecz normally the bell weather for Quinns got edged by Carbone on a brilliant last end. And Nicol's got a good old fashioned smashing of 17 shots against the new skipper in town, Oldham. That was the main difference on the day as O'Neill dropped to Holland by 3shots to give Gosnells 1 more point but Smith bounced back for Quinns by taking Foy by 2 shots to give the home side a huge win against a top side & set themselves up for a longer stay in 1 White.
Again the Kookaburra's can't put together more than 2 games in a row without dropping. The last time they went 3 in a row was R1 to R3. Now it's 2 from 4 or 3 from 6 but they'll need more than a 50% winning ratio if they want to go deep in Finals. They are Away again next week & it doesn't get much easier against the hottest team in the comp at the moment.
Josip (joe) Marevic 20 v Corey Bessant 17
Michael Simunovic 17 v Anthony Einfeld 24
William Tepania 16 v Andrew Jones 16
Marc Abonnel 21 v Mark Masel 21
What a nail biter at Cockburn for Game of the Round & a massive result for the Mounters in a tough away fixture. This game had it all, drama, excitement, big bowls, multiple draws & a season defining moment at the end when both teams had to show & deliver. The drama started early in this one as the Mounters did their customary early visit for a quick rollup. Supposedly they called the club & were told that the greens were available to 12pm. They showed up early for the rollup but 'rumour' has it Cockburn seen the Mounters in the car park & swiftly ran over & turned on the Sprinklers early. To the Mounters shock they now couldn't get that rollup before the game & had wasted 1.5hrs of their time showing up early. Supposedly the chalk board stated 11.30am for sprinklers but looking closely you could see a '12' under the 11 where someone had rubbed out the 12 after they saw the Mounters show early in the carpark....shocking carry-on but obviously entertaining. Was this good old gamesmanship, greenkeeper error or something far more sinister?! Now our Cockburn contact neither confirms or denies this carry-on so the plot thickens. Surely Mounters can grab a letter template from regular submitters Osborne Park & send something into Bowls WA?! Who knows how much of the above is true & we don't really care too much as it makes for a good story so let's not take things too seriously. What we do know is that the Mounters viewed this as intentional & boy oh boy Cockburn got them pissed well before the game had even started. There was an edge to this game already & played with an edge throughout but who knows how much 'Sprinkle-Gate' added to the Mounters' desire to win. Given it was a close game would Cockburn have won it they didn't press that water on.....big decision by whoever hit that button before noon on Sat. We believe the top Slavic detectives are wiping for fingerprints as we speak.
And now for the game!!!! Forward 90mins later & the 2 teams matchup really well with the Roosters top rink getting the Mounters bottom rink & Mounters top rink getting the Roosters bottom rink. Both side couldn't have asked for a better matchup so it was all down to which top side could deliver under pressure. Abonnel just couldn't get away from Masel all day as they finished 21-21 & with that the Mounters had brilliantly nulled Mr Lethal so the chances of Cockburn carrying the Agg with another big rink win had dropped by about 80%. Joe continued to find some recent form as they edged past a Bessant rink who are not traveling too well with that being 3 losses in a row now but they are generally hard to beat even though they are only 6 from 11. Joe's side are 3 from 4 now & finding their mojo. Big Willie again couldn't get past the draw specialists in Jones side as they played out a tight 16-16 draw. That's only 1 win from the last 5 games for Jones' side but 2 of them were draws. With only 4 shots between the sides in the end it came down to what 1 White's unbeaten rink could get out of Cockburn's lowest & Einfeld's side got 7 shots over Simunovic's side which was the difference in the end.
Very close game & supposedly well worth watching. We did call it in the predictions that if this went close we lacked confidence that Cockburn could close out these tight games & that's exactly what's happened. The home track bullies got done at their own game. In fairness, there is little point in playing silly games with sprinklers when there's more backbone in a jellyfish when all the chips are in than with the Roosters at the moment. Without being too harsh, the results show that the Roosters seriously struggle to finish a tight game. Somewhat like an old kettle...when the pressure builds they hiss, whistle & just boil over. What happened to my great smokey team of the season?! I really thought they had a superb chance this season, now they are 2.5pts off demotional playoffs, lost 4 of the last 5, have 1 rink 3 from 11, are 2 games off 4th spot & the only thing running well for them at the moment is them bloody sprinklers......not happy jan!!
The strange thing with the Mounters is they are finding a way in most games without actually winning rinks, go figure. In an amazing stat they have only won 4 of the last 12 rinks & 2 of those rinks were won when losing to Quinns. They won 2 games against top sides by only winning 1 single rink in EACH game but yet won the Agg by minimal margins in both games with the help of many drawn rinks. They now have only won in total this season 0.5 rink more than Basso in 2nd but yet they're 8.5pts clear.....is this a sign that there's clinks in the armour or are they that hard to beat?! I'm starting to side with the latter, they are just a tough nut to crack & it's now unlikely that anyone will touch them from here to R18 as I'm now withdrawing my R15 Gosnells tough match after their performance at Quinns. Big game, big result, well done Mounters.