Some season altering results for R15 & some sides have made massive moves up the ladder. There is shear turmoil at the top & bottom & significant justling going on in the mid-table. We are in for an amazing last 3 Rounds, this season will go right down to 5pm on 26th March in 4 weeks time. If this Round had songs relating to it each performance it may go something like this - Gosnells - 'Kookaburra sits in the old Mt Lawley gum tree...laugh Kookaburra laugh...eating up all the points they can see, Stop Kookaburra Stop, Kookaburra leave some points for me...'. Mt Lawley - '3 wheels on my wagon, 15pts ahead & we're still rolling along, signing our happy song.......2 wheels on my wagon, the Kookaburra's are chasing us, arrows fly, right on by but were signing our happy song, 1 wheel on our wagon....'. Quinns - ' We get knocked down, go 1 from 9 but we get up again, you never gonna keep us down, we get knocked down but go 6 in a row, you never gonna keep us down.....we drink a Mounters drink, we drink a Kookaburra drink, we drink a Roo's drink, we drink a Swans drink....we'll be singing, when we're winning'.
You would think that COVID will play some part over the last 3 Rounds so it will be very interesting to see what happens with some sides lose their key players. We'll try keep an eye out for what happens over the closing Rounds but it might be worth clubs discussing key players & how to get them into a COVID bubble to give their club the best opportunity to have their best 16 out for those 3 Rounds. Here's our thoughts on who folks should not be coughing on or even spending more than 15mins in their company:
1. Mt Lawley - David Rhodes
2. Gosnells - Grant Nicol
3. Bassendean 1 - Simon Alden
4. Wanneroo - Christopher Parr
5. Cockburn - Marc Abonnel
6. Quinns Rocks - John Berecz
7. Rossmoyne - Craig Edson
8. Sorrento - Ronald Rogers
9. Warnbro - Dennis Pattullo
10. Bassendean 2 - Neil Strachan
Obviously the above is subjective. However, to get the results of the above key players we surveyed every single player in 1 White & unfortunately the survey results didn't match the above table as surprise surprise everyone voted for themselves, as they truly believed that they were the best of their 16......ohhh bowls can be a funny olde game, haha.
To show how the momentum has shifted substantially from R6 see the below table which is very interesting to see the form over the last 9 Rounds only:
Just look at the differences from the current standing, incredible. Gosnells position seems reasonable & we've discussed that form below on how all 4 rinks are really chipping in with good wins but week after week the story of the year is being dominated by Quinns, just look at that accumulation of points & most of that is them grabbing 38.5 of the last available 48pts & they had to give 4 of those points away for the Heat round. Wanneroo have established a really solid purple patch & are running hot. The Mounters & Roosters are still grabbing some points to keep the scoreboard ticking over & the rest are about the same across the board. Very good indication of who's running hot since predictions after R6.
Again all this is just some meaningless banter, whereas staying safe over the next 2 weeks & the last 3 rounds is far more important. When we come back we'll be right in the middle of the peak so please keep yourselves safe as daily numbers climb & as much as it's the serious time of the season, it's only a game of bowls.
Bassendean 2 71 (1) v Rossmoyne 82 (7)
Mark Cook 17 v Rawley Lang 21
Neil Strachan 24 v John Carter 14
Eugene O'Sullivan 14 v Craig Edson 18
Butch Dinnison 16 v Walter Harvey 29
A good close game here as both sides fought for that critical Agg that meant so much for both sides. The River Rats needed this one a little more to ensure they are not automatically heading to 1 Blue, especially with Warnbro grabbing an Agg they needed the gap. Basso are destined for 1 Blue & more than likely they won't mind too much as that was always on the cards this year after such a quantity of changes. However, they will get some value in getting so many good 1 White games into those 20+ blokes & that experience will stand them well next season where they'll have a good chance of bouncing back.
Cook just couldn't get a reasonable traction against Lang as the Rossmoyne side went on to win by 4shots & get the away side up & running. To say Lang needed that is probably the understatement of the season as I think that's Lang's first win of the season after 11 attempts so good to get that gorilla off their back. Strachan shot back for the Lions as they dominated over Carter to give the home side a chance at the Agg. Strachan's side are running well & are probably Basso's best rink, also when they win they usually win big which always helps the Agg. That's no wins since R10 for Carter's side so they'll need a little luck over the next few rounds to help their side survive. O'Sullivan got stuck, like many others, in the Edson sandwich as they lost by 4 shots & just couldn't cover the best side. Dinnison added to last week's trashing but came in under that mark but still fell by 13 shots to Harvey who bounced back after a few very tough weeks themselves. This was probably the difference in the end as the away side snatched the Agg.
This was a big 7pts for Rossmoyne as they stayed within touching distance of true safety but now they have another side in Quinns coming from nowhere & putting real pressure on nabbing that coveted 6th spot. This will surely go down to R18 to see who stays safe & who heads to playoffs.
Christopher Buchholz 16 v Jovan Krstic 17
Neville Costello 20 v Simon Alden 24
Christopher Parr 20 v Ruairi Kenyon 12
Kingsley Toster 19 v Stein Davies 18
The Roos are travelling extremely well at the moment & coming into purple form at the right time of the season. They have only lost 1 of the last 7 games & other than that blip in R13 they have grabbed a huge bucket of points since R9. They now sit firmly in the top 4 & only 0.5pt off 3rd spot so they'll have a big chance of Finals after Cockburn dropped a very winnable game to the bottom side. Basso 1 now drop 3 in a row & are fighting to even stay in Finals when they were a shoe in a few weeks back. Cockburn & the Roo's have a few tough games, so you would think that of those 3 sides whoever wins 2 games plays Finals.
Buchholz got the massive day off to a shaky start as they dropped to Krstic on the last end, to give Buchholz 0-5 & Krstic now deceivably hit 3rd spot in the skippers ladder to continue a fantastic year. Costello had a tough day out against Alden but kept it tight by only losing by 4 shots. Alden keeps the massive pressure on that Einfeld rink & first rink to blink will surely give the other rink bragging rights of top skippers of the season. Parr raced out to a massive lead & Kenyon tried to pull it back all game but just couldn't cover the difference as they dropped by 8 shots. Other than the recent blip Parr's side is travelling very well & easily the Roo's top side this season. Toster & Davies were neck & neck all day but Toster's side had the final finish to make the difference in the end & the bitterly close Agg again went against Basso.
Basso have now lost 5 games by 3 shots, 2 shots, 4 shots, 3 shots & 4 shots......horrifically unlucky & any of those swinging the other way would surely see them close to the top if not the top but it's a tough game when you're losing by those minimum margins, as Cockburn would attest to. Basso has tried to fix that 4th side but it's not bearing fruit yet & Davies without a win in 5 is putting pressure on the other 2 rinks to win by margins which are hard to come by over the tight final few rounds. The Lions still need to win all 3 to cement their top 4 spot & with that last massive game of the season away to Mt Lawley, any other losses will surely mean they may miss Finals.
The Roo's now have a massive chance of Finals but do have 2 tough games away to teams that will be screaming for points but it's now in their hands from here & they're playing very well.
Robert Foy 15 v Anthony Einfeld 20
Frank Carbone 20 v Andrew Jones 20
Grant Nicol 23 v Corey Bessant 20
Brett Holland 22 v Mark Masel 18
My oh my, what a game, what a result & what are the chances of Gosnells going straight to the big dance.....the answer for all those is Amazing. The laughing Kookaburra's were chuckling well into the later hours of Saturday night as they celebrated a huge win & now are the absolute minimum 0.5pt off top spot, could this get any more exciting?! I really think not. What a finish we have in store over the last 3 games.
Foy got matched with the only unbeaten side in the comp which was probably a good matchup as both sides are travelling very well & Foy's side did well to only allow Einefld's side to win by 5 shots. Einfeld's side maintains that amazing 100% run & it's now highly likely that these boyz can do the impossible & go 18 Rounds without a loss....how good would that be?! Carbone had Jones & this one was tight all day, Jones edged the scoreboard late & Mounters were ahead on the Agg until Carbone's side had a massive last end to grab a draw & take the Agg, all on the last end. It was probably fitting as Carbone's side haven't lost in 7 games & Banksy Jones the drawn specialist hasn't won in 7 games so stark contrast on both sides. We did think that some record must be broken before this Round for Jones' side but surely 4 of the last 5 games finishing in a DRAW has to be a RECORD?! Who knows what might happen with COVID but if Jones didn't draw Gosnells would be top by 0.5pt so if they called the season early the Gosnells would be in 1 Red. Nicol had a right battle with Bessant with the home side pushing late to win by 3 shots. Nicol's side are travelling very well & have only lost 4 games all season & sitting 5th on the skippers ladder. Bessant drops to 1 from 7 & that 1 was against the bottom side so they'll need to get back into the winners circle more often on the run home. Again Holland's side are also tracking wonderfully, unbeaten in the last 7 & had the measure of Masel early as they won by 4 shots in a tight affair. It was a small winning margin but in the context of the overall tight Agg it was huge. Masels side dropped back to 2 from 9 & are just struggling to find some momentum.
The Mounters have 1 week off now to have a look & maybe rejig some things, although we won't expect many changes as they seem very reluctant on changes. They are now up to only 19 players used for 15 Rounds to date & taking out players who only filled in for 1 game, the number drops to only 17 players, leaving only 1 real change for the season. You can see the difference in the depth of the rinks when taking out both top sides who are very dominant. On recent form you have Carbone & Holland unbeaten in 7 & Foy 4 from 7, where the Mounters have Bessant 1 from 7, Masel 2 from 9 & Jones 1 from 9. So you can see how the supporting rinks are driving those close wins as there's depth in support to Nicol's. That puts huge pressure on Einfeld's rink & they are delivering big time but if you take that side's winning margin out they are probably dropping an easy 3 additional games which would have huge consequences on the ladder positions. Most of the Mt Lawley rinks stats are solid enough at 50%, although Jones has only lost 3 games all season with all the draws, so on paper the rinks have collected points but most of them were up the R6. To dive into that further & trying to identify the key COVID bubble player & it's a tough call but it would seem to point towards David Rhodes. If he goes out it could make a difference. We cover it in the summary as it might be an X factor situation over the last 3 games but you'd think Gosnells COVID bubble player is Grant Nicol. If they go missing both sides will need to step up to cover.
Lance Martin 28 v Shane Smith 18
Ian Linford 13 v Leith Oldham 22
Ronald Rogers 16 v Steve O'Neill 18
Richard Bone 15 v John Berecz 24
Tough loss for the home side as they are now genuinely in strife & possibly heading straight to 1 Blue without a look at Playoffs if they can't get a few wins over the next 3 rounds. The winning machine that's Quinns just keeps on giving. This story will be remembered for many a day if they can pull this miracle off. Another massive away win & with it, can you believe it, they are into the safety of 6th spot. They probably won't mind if the season gets called early as they are only 0.5pt ahead of Rossmoyne & there's only 6 shots in the score differential. It is very hard to imagine that after playing 1,050 shots, both sides are only separated by 6 shots on percentage, every bowl counts.
Martin got the Swans off to a flyer but dominating Smith & getting some big conversions to win by 10 shots. Then Linford dropped to Oldham by 9shots to erase that advantage & even the playing field. Rogers lost a close one by 2 shots to O'Neill as the Quinns side went 3 in a row for the first time this season. Bone had the tough task of trying to curtail the rampanant big man in Berecz but couldn't maintain the pressure as Berecz won by 9 shots, went 3 in a row & in turn Bone dropped to 0-3.
There is now significant fear in the Swans camp as they look at their eye watering last 3 games, being Basso 1, Mt Lawley & Cockburn away. It's literally the hardest 3 games of the season & it's going to become a lot harder now they are circling the drain to 1 Blue. Where to from here, could Quinns make Finals....nothing is ruled out anymore with this side.
Barry Kalinowsky 20 v William Tepania 19
Lindsay Strange 23 v Marc Abonnel 14
George (dr) Jackson 26 v Michael Simunovic 16
Kieran Cousens 20 v Josip (joe) Marevic 23
Heroic effort by the home side when their backs were really pinned to the wall. Grabbing the Agg here is huge for the Wizards. They are now within a few points of 8th & they certainly have a chance to escape automatic demotion if they can grab another 1-2wins over the next 3 games.
Kalinowsky continued their good form as they went 3 in a row by beating Tepania by the minimum 1 shot. Strange shot out & got some big scores over Abonnel as the top Roosters rink struggled to keep pace as Strange ran out a big 9 shot win & suddenly the Wizards had not only nullified the big danger rink but grabbed a massive point while doing so. The upset was well & truly on after Jackson's side eventually found some form & rolled Simunovic by a big 10 shots & surely the Agg was locked away. Jackon's side needed that win as its only the 2 win since R3 but having a few other rinks like these chip in makes a big difference when pushing for the Agg's. Cousens fell to Marevic but only by 3 shots & that's not a bad result considering Joe's side are unbeaten in 6 & absolutely flying in the 2nd half of the season. Cousens only has 3 wins for the season but 2 of them were in recent rounds, so like the rest of the rinks if they can keep putting together these performances they'll have a massive chance of survival, at least for playoffs. The Wizards are now only 3.5pts off playoffs but 2 of the last 3 are away, however, their only home game should be an easy Agg so that will give them a huge chance of getting playoffs. If they can also nab 1 win away they'll surely make playoff's. Even winning that Home game probably gets them a roll of the dice against a 1 Blue side as Sorrento in 8th spot have a horrific final 3 games.
Cockburn drop a vital game here after winning 2 on the trot but now drop back to 5th spot & chasing an inform Roo's will be difficult from here. They need Roo's to drop a game from here for them to have a chance, although so could Basso 1 & they can replace either in the Top 4. A huge amount to play for & with the Rooster's having the 2 of the final 3 games at home you would think this one will go right down the 11th hour.