The home and away season has been completed, well done to Doubleview, South Perth, Cambridge and Manning for finishing top 4 and playing for a final weekend. Below is a summary of those teams who have not made the cut -
10th - SAFETY BAY
It was a rude awakening to the Premier League for the boys from the bay, the first 7 games were losses and big ones, an average of 33 shots and only 7 points and their seasoin was effectively over. But they rallied, made some positional changes with some honorable losses and then a couple of wins, finishing with 3 for the year. They should take those lessons back to White and apply them and they will be jumping back in to the top flight. They didn't really recruit, relying on the players that got them to the PL, it would be hard at such an outlying club but development in their team and they can be competitive next time around.
9th - MOSMAN PARK
A golden opportunity on the last day of play where all they needed to do was win 6 points and they were home but COVID hit them hard at the worst possible time, 4 absences on the last day hurt. Could those 4 have bridged the 7 shot gap for overall? Who's to say, but after the start they had winning 2 of their first 3 games, and a close loss to Doubleview Round 2 they probably ddidn't need to be in this position. But the tale of the tape shows when they lost they lost badly, averaging 24 shot losses from their 11 losses. They did find Alan Southern who won 8 games from his first season as a skipper in the Premier League and Dale Marsland with 9 but it was their 4th skipper they had troubles with, highlighting you really need 4 quality skippers at this level to be in the top half. Will the Swan recruits stay at the club? With theith ex-club potentially playing for a spot in White, they may choose to return home.
8th - KARDINYA
1 point in their final game of the year and they would have been despondent knowing Mosman Park warm favourites to win but it wasn't to be, the collective sighs of breath released at South Perth might have been felt at Bassendean as they clung on to 8th spot and Premier League again next year. Hard to know what happened from the team that finished 3rd the year before. Marc Abonnel left as did Brad Ball, Sam Perica departed mid way thru the season and Darryl Radford after the vaccination rules were in place, it was obviously a disruptive year that could have been disastrous. But they hang on, they have the players and an off season recuperating and I'm sure they will again push for top 4 next season.
7th - OSBORNE PARK
It was their bookends that let them down, a disastrous start losing their first 3 games and then losing their last 3 games when they had snuck into the top saw them meekly finish in 7th. They will be disappointed with how the season panned out but lots of upside. They blooded up and coming stars Jack East and Connor Biddle as skippers as the experience of Neville Stevens and Gary Caffell impart their wisdom from 3rds or 2nds. With Ryan Brown and Cody Packer, it is one of the younger front line skippers and this can only be better for them next year. If they were on the stockmarket, they would be a hard buy as I can see this team climbing back into the finals race next year.
6th - NORTH BEACH
When you finish 6th it can be a lucky thing as they were close to finishing 9th or an unlucky thing as they were close to making finals. As it was they were only 7 off a final berth, they have broken the away hoodoo winning 3 times this year but unfortunately their home ground advantage diminished at the same time losing 3 at home. Chris Margins elevation to skipper in Round 7 proved a masterstroke as he went on to win the 7 games but COVID de-railed things as the club was forced to close and many players isolating. It's hard to focus on bowls when so many of your teammates are recovering but they did a darn good job, only small losses in winnable positions and they can be very bullish about next season. If they can retain all their players and get a couple more that might be enough to see them play finals next season.
5th - SORRENTO
A heart breaking season for Sorrento who spent nearly all season in the top 4 when many pundits, myself included, thought they might be destined for demotion. After a round 1 loss they then won against all the odds the next 6 games and a couple more losses saw them well placed to play finals. But with the vaccination rules and then COVID saw this hit the club hard as they lost about 7 people from their top 2 sides and this impacted them heavily, losing the next 4 and their spot in the 4. 2 wins at the end was too little too late and they finished 5th. But so promising for them and they will be approaching next season with some confidence of again pushing for finals.
Sorrento 86 (7) v Osborne Park 76 (1)
Rhett Butler 22 v Ryan Brown 17
Dan Nicholls 21 v Cody Packer 23
Bruce Eagles 22 v Connor Biddle 21
Christopher Lander 21 v Jack East 19
South Perth 98 (7) v Kardinya 71 (1)
Justin Opie 19 v Craig Stokes 25
Daniel Brown 24 v David Rankin 20
Ross Bresland 21 v Bradley Henley 19
Glenn Pauling 34 v Steven Novak 10
Mosman Park 72 (1.5) v North Beach 79 (6.5)
Alan Southern 16 v Joe McGinlay 22
James Barry 24 v Paul Walker 21
Mitchell Cranswick 17 v Chris Margin 17
Dale Marsland 15 v Brad Gillingham 19
Safety Bay 83 (5) v Manning 81 (3)
Christopher Owen 17 v Blake Butler 25
Ron Hall 19 v Thomas Mitchell 20
Chris Carruthers 16 v Shane Knott 20
Graeme Smith 31 v William Hyatt 16
Cambridge 68 (1) v Doubleview 78 (7)
Clive Adams 21 v Charles Slavich 12
Blake Nairn 18 v John Slavich 20
Eric Johannes 15 v Kyle McIlroy 23
Cameron Harris 14 v Anthony Williams 23