Some critical games completed this Round and it probably emphasises the simplisticity of results when it really comes down to the crunch. All predictions came in for a clean sweep of 5 from 5 but rather than patting ourselves on the back it's worthwhile highlighting that form trump most of the time & again we've seen nearly all Home sides win except for Mt Lawley away which was expected. You would think this will carry into next week where any team looking for a result away will need a minor miracle to get a big score but anything could happen on the last day when nerves are flowing.
The big news for the Round was the crowning of the 1 White champions & a week early at that. Huge congrats to Mt Lawley on their back to back promotions as they move into the big league. The context of this can't be lost on bowling community, this was a team who not so many years ago dropped to Division 2 but they clawed their way back into 1 Blue & had a number of bites at the cherry for 1 White until last year when walked away with 1 Blue North by 20pts or more. They sailed into 1 White as an unknown to many established sides but they recruited heavily for 1 White, started the season with a bang & never looked back. It's certainly a sign of hope for those clubs in the lower division that with the right attitude & conviction they can get their top side into 1 Red, if they really want to. The Mounters had their moments this year good & bad so they'll be delighted to finally get over the line & play the final game in festival spirit. They were out the gates like the clampers but after Xmas fell into a few holes but grabbing 2 8 pointers over the last 2 Rounds put the burners on the rest & didn't they need just that as after R15 Gosnells were only 0.5pt behind their own free ride into 1 Red. Unsure if Mt Lawley were ever in the top division but I don't remember them in my lifetime so it's a great achievement for a small club. It made the last few games very interesting & highly entertaining but they got the job done & now the lovely art deco of Mt Lawley will be visited by all the big wigs next season & may be many other seasons if they can maintain form or even go up 1 gear as there won't be any easy sides up there.
The last spot for Finals is still up for grabs as 4th & 5th are basically neck & neck with only 0.5pt between the sides. Goes to show how every bowl counts if its down to 0.5pt so whoever wins in R18 by the most points gets, although the Roo's will need a full point more than the Roosters as the Roosters have a far better score differential. The bottom has tightened right up again with any one of the bottom 3 able to make playoffs & stay away from automatic demotion. However, it looks like Quinns won't make the dream come alive & obtain true safety unless they get a big Agg & River Rats drop their bundle at home, which is unlikely but not impossible as the Roo's need a big score for Finals. Lots to play for in R18, just not top spot.
Let's take a quick last chance look at our post Round 6 predictions & see how we rated ourselves for the season. The below is our final end of season predictions of who finished where. We issued the first predictions column after Round 6 & the 2nd column is where they now sit after R17:
Round 6 Round 17
Mt Lawley Mt Lawley
Bassendean 1 Gosnells
Gosnells Bassendean 1
Cockburn Cockburn
Wanneroo Wanneroo
Sorrento Rossmoyne
Rossmoyne Quinns Rocks
Quinns Rocks Warnbro
Warnbro Sorrento
Bassendean 2 Bassendean 2
So we got the top 4 spot on (so far) but mixed up 2nd & 3rd but overall pretty happy with the predictions so far. Mid-table was a mixed bag as we had Wanneroo & Rossmoyne there but we also had Sorrento but they have dropped right out over the last few weeks. 3 of the bottom 4 were also pretty accurate but a little jumbled up except for the bottom side. Overall, like most years, traditional post R6 predictions are weirdly accurate given the amount of crazy upsets, winning & losing streaks by all sides. I would like to thank all those contributors in putting these together & credit to their work as year after year it seems to strangely work out to be accurate enough across the board (until next year?!!).

Warnbro 103 (7) v Bassendean 2 68 (1)
Kieran Cousens 24 v Richard D'Souza 16
George (dr) Jackson 24 v Eugene O'Sullivan 15
Dennis Pattullo 17 v Butch Dinnison 21
Barry Kalinowsky 38 v Neil Strachan 16

The Wizards went through the Lions part deux like a hot knife through butter to finish their home season with another big home win, to give them a very respectable 6 from 9 at home. It was looking a lot worse up to Xmas but they have turned it around enough to have a chance in R18. Basso did grab a point & that point might be extremely valuable in a few days after R18 but it would be amazing if they survived & got into playoffs after they were down & out up to R13. Credit to Basso as their side had significant last minute changes which disrupted all sides.
Cousens got the charge off & running with a handy 8 shot win over D'Souza who came back in to skip. Jackson was back into the winners circle with a 9 shot win over O'Sullivan in a hard contest. Pattullo couldn't control Butch as the Basso side grabbed 1 back for the away side with a 4 shot win. It was still close enough in the Agg until people looked over to what Kalinowsky was doing to Strachan, as the home side trashed the visitors by a massive 22 shots & with it put 7pts in the bank & skipped into R18 with a chance of survival.
Result: Warnbro 7 - 1
Prediction: Warnbro 6 - 2

Bassendean 1 78 (6) v Quinns Rocks 76 (2)
Jovan Krstic 16 v Steve O'Neill 14
Russell Ellis 17 v Leith Oldham 20
Ruairi Kenyon 25 v Shane Smith 17
Stein Davies 20 v John Berecz 25

There was a big opportunity presented to Quinns late for this matchup as the word was trickling through that Basso had numbers out with some late changes. Whatever chance Quinns had it had significantly increased now & this could get them right out of trouble & into mid-table safety. Unfortunately the Lions dug the trenches & grinded out a huge home win against all odds to give them a look at the 2nd ticket to the big dance.
Krstic edged O'Neill by only 2 shots in a very tight contest. In another tight contest Ellis fell to Oldham by 3 shots. Kenyon needed a big performance with all the changes & they produced a timely win by a big 8 shots which was really the difference in the end. Davies kept Berecz at bay for most of the day & dropped to Quinns best side by 5 shots & that was enough to grab the Agg & secure a Finals spot for Basso's top side. The cavalry will be next week for the Lions & they'll need it away to the PL side but it's unlikely they get knocked out of the top 4 especially if they can grab 2pts away.
Result: Bassendean 6 - 2
Prediction: Bassendean 7 - 1

Wanneroo 87 (6) v Cockburn 72 (2)
Kingsley Toster 16 v Michael Simunovic 19
Christopher Parr 20 v William Tepania 23
David Triffitt 25 v Marc Abonnel 12
Neville Costello 26 v Josip (joe) Marevic 18

Game of the Round lived up to its calling in this humdinger of a game to see who grabs that last Finals spot. We did think that if Roo's won this one they'll be back into 4th spot but they just fell short with 6pts & are now only outside of top 4 by 0.5pts so there's literally nothing in it coming into R18. Again the Roosters drop another close away game but those 2pts are huge in the context of R18 as they'll be back home & the Roo's are away so they still have every chance of playing Finals. Both sides still could be playing PL next season if R18 goes their way.
Toster had a tough day & just couldn't get past Simunovic as the Roosters got 1 on the board early. Parr also got rolled by Big Willie by 3 shots & now it was nervous moments for the Roo's. Triffitt was the rink to setup to fill the gap & save the day for the Roo's as they knocked over the deadly rink by a huge 13 shots in a performance of the season for them. Costello wasn't far behind with another massive win by a dozen over Marevic to put the Agg well beyond reach of the away side. The Roo's can still make Finals but they'll need a massive favour from the Swans.
Result: Wanneroo 6 - 2
Prediction: Wanneroo 6 - 2

Sorrento 47 (0) v Mt Lawley 80 (8)
Alan Walton 14 v Mark Masel 16
Colin Jasper 9 v Andrew Jones 19
Richard Bone 11 v Corey Bessant 23
Ronald Rogers 13 v Anthony Einfeld 22

To win 1 White playing away & lock the top spot away with 1 game to play needed the Mounters to grab the full 8pts against the Swans. Although the Swans had been pretty handy at home all season & hadn't dropped an 8 at home.....until now! The Mounters came to play & even though it was tight enough at halfway the visitors put on the afterburners & put the game beyond reach with a few ends to go. The Swans will naturally be disappointed as now they have to head to Cockburn in R18 looking for a miracle to stay in 1 White. They looked safe for most of the year but started circling the drain in Feb & found wins hard to come by, which wasn't helped by a horrific last few fixtures against all the top sides. With their top PL side safe they'll be solid enough in 1 Blue & have a good chance at coming back up.
Walton was back in skippering & had a good tussle with Masel by dropped late by 2 shots. Jasper really struggled & couldn't make double figures against Jones who stormed to a 10 shot win to grab another big point for the away side. Bone was similar as they couldn't contain the numerous Bessant's as they dropped by a dozen. And finally the rink that will top the skippers ladder for 2022 just kept doing what they do best & took Rogers by 9 shots to put them clear at the top & that means 1 more game at home & they'll do what many many rinks have tried & failed to do......go 18 Rounds unbeaten. Good luck to them & congrats to the Mounters on putting together a massive away win to continue their fairytale.
Result: Mt Lawley 8 - 0
Prediction: Mt Lawley 7 - 1

Gosnells 85 (6.5) v Rossmoyne 71 (1.5)
Grant Nicol 24 v John Carter 13
Brett Holland 17 v Craig Edson 32
Robert Foy 29 v Walter Harvey 11
Frank Carbone 15 v Rawley Lang 15

The Kookaburra's were back to the wall after their previous weeks result & they knew they needed a huge win. They got the Agg but just missed out on the max points which handed the top spot to the Mounters. Although Gosnells did lock away a hugely valuable 2nd spot & knowing they beat the top side at home, they'll fancy their chances with 2 bites of the 1 Red cherry. The River Rats away are not the same side as at home but those 1.5pts will be very valuable & there's a chance it could have saved their season from playoffs as Quinns dropped their game so there's nearly a full Agg in the difference.
Nicol's had Carter chasing all day as they pushed out by 11 shots to give the home side a solid start & lock away one of Rossmoyne's danger rinks. Holland surprisingly got rightly smashed & wrapped up in a Edson sandwich as the away side won by a huge 15 shots. Foy pulled that & more back against Harvery as they won by 18 shots & the Agg was all but put into the bank. Carbone & Lang couldn't be split in a low scoring game as they finished 15-15 & shared the spoils, which helped both sides. The River Rats needed some points & can guarantee their safety next week as they would have been slightly nervous about coming straight down from PL & then finishing in playoff's & may be playing 1 Blue next year. It can still happen but highly unlikely & Rossmoyne are sure to play 1 White next season. Gosnells did just superb since R8 & won some big games & were ever so close to taking top spot a few weeks back. They'll play Finals & they will have a very solid chance as they know realistically they only need to win their 1st game in Finals to head to the big dance. Similar to Mounters this is only their 2nd season back in 1 white & I think they only missed Finals last year by maybe 4pts so they'll be chuffed to be finishing 2nd.
Result: Gosnells 6.5 - 1.5
Prediction: Gosnells 7 - 1

Mt Lawley1712414413691094125.1496
Bassendean 11797139.513141161113.1879.5
Quinns Rocks17610129.51199128693.2357.5
Bassendean 217511124.51138135084.348.5
Anthony Einfeld1500107Mt Lawley
Simon Alden132089Bassendean 1
Joe Krstic123194Bassendean 1
John Berecz124091Quinns Rocks
Grant Nicol115031Gosnells
Marc Abonnel1051112Cockburn
William Tepania105153Cockburn
Robert Foy106078Gosnells
Craig Edson106065Rossmoyne
Andrew Jones93458Mt Lawley
John Carter96011Rossmoyne
Corey Bessant97055Mt Lawley
Joe Marevic97033Cockburn
Frank Carbone8623Gosnells
Neville Costello87024Wanneroo
Brett Holland870-32Gosnells
Barry Kalinowsky880-2Warnbro
Mark Masel77153Mt Lawley
Stein Davies77020Bassendean 1
Wally Harvey770-23Rossmoyne
Ronald Rogers790-25Sorrento
Eugene O'Sullivan790-49Bassendean 2
Chris Buchholz680-9Wanneroo
Kingsley Toster6915Wanneroo
Michael Simunovic691-6Cockburn
Steve O'Neill6100-48Quinns Rocks
Ian Linford561-3Sorrento
Neil Strachan560-22Bassendean 2
George Jackson5100-86Warnbro
Lindsay Strange4206Warnbro
Leith Oldham4205Quinns Rocks
Chris Parr44119Wanneroo
Mick Martin450-15Sorrento
Peter Madigan460-10Bassendean 2
Dennis Pattullo460-42Warnbro
Russell Ellis482-54Bassendean 1
Alan Anderson480-39Sorrento
Mark Cook4110-57Bassendean 2
Kieran Cousens4110-61Warnbro
Butch Dinnison321-6Bassendean 2
Shane Smith331-1Quinns Rocks
David Triffitt370-25Wanneroo
Ruairi Kenyon21011Bassendean 1
Rawley Lang263-50Rossmoyne
Richard Bone260-55Sorrento
Hugh Ward280-78Quinns Rocks
David Rhodes1012Mt Lawley
Trevor Close10012Gosnells
Reza Vind120-12Rossmoyne
Rohan Cantrill130-36Quinns Rocks
Martin Hinchcliffe140-20Quinns Rocks
Allan Petchell140-25Rossmoyne
Richard D'Souza150-68Bassendean 2
Troy Dellar010-5Warnbro
Colin Jasper010-10Sorrento
William Baker010-11Warnbro
John Brown020-7Sorrento
Linton Pike020-7Bassendean 1
Peter Crow020-16Sorrento
Alan Walton020-22Sorrento