Our last game of the home and away season is upon us, and the 3 most important positions on the ladder are still up for grabs, that of top spot which can go either to South Perth or Doubleview, 4th spot which can be either Camnbridge, Kardinya or Manning, and 9th spot which could be Bassendean, Warnbro or Sorrento.
So what are the equations for everyone? I will detail as best I can during each game and the scenarios facing each team playing in that scenario.
KARDINYA v BASSENDEAN
D Brown, D Golem, B Henley, S West
K McKay, D Radford, D Flintoff, J Galipo
R Foy, M Abonnel, C Stokes, D Wood
D Rankin, D Comrie, P Davies, C Vinci INS: No change OUTS:
D Nicholls, N Smith, D Von Horn, P Harber
C Margin, T Lynch, R Kenyon, D Daley
D Rhodes, L Pike, A Elmer, M Simpson
S Alden, R Ellis, L McKay, M Bessant INS: No change OUTS:
First game to look at is my own team travelling to Kardinya. Round 18 hasn't been a good hunting ground for Kardinya in this fixture, the last time Kardy beat Bassendean at Kardy in Round 18 was 2015, four seasons ago, and it's really hard to know why that is the case as Kardinya have a distinctive home ground advantage. Maybe it's because the arc required for bowls is very similar to Basso on a fast day, so maybe the visitors can adjust more quickly. Despite that fact, both teams need a win for a variety of reasons - Kardinya only require 2 rinks to salute to shore up a finals berth. Even winning 8-0 for them is superfluous as finishing 3rd or 4th achieves the same result Bassendean need to win to ensure they cannot finish 9th, even if it is on 1 rink, the 5 points that gets will put them 9.5 clear of Sorrento. A loss however and they wait anxiously on results at Warnbro and Sorrento. Either of those clubs need to win an aggregate at least to overtake Bassendean, so a loss by either of those teams (unless Basso get 0 then 3 points is all Warnbro need to overtake them). If Bassendean win on 2 rinks and loses, that puts them 6.5 clear of Sorrento, so Sorrento would need to win 7 or 8 points to overtake them. Even 6.5 points would be enough due to Sorrentos superior percentage.
Basso all the way!
MANNING v CAMBRIDGE
A Williams, AJ Heal, M Piggott, G Quann
T Mitchell, N Jones, S Collins, M Kemp
D Marsland, L Such, P Kelly, N Rees
S Knott, P Ker, M Allen, B Butler INS: Piggott OUTS: Patterson
S Perica, N Lewis, D Jones, H Christensen
C Adams, P Harris, C Wooldridge, L Bolton
D Opie, S Rushforth, A Foster, D Leeson
L Strahan, C Harris, N Bolton, R Bolton INS: S Rushforth OUTS: M Bolton
This really is the most interesting game of the round, but the big win to Cambridge last week takes a little bit of the excitement away but nevertheless a game people will have an interest in the results. Manning for them the equation is simple, they win all rinks and they overtake Cambridge, no other result will suffice as Cambridge sit 7 clear of Manning Cambridge oppositely only need to win on 1 rink and the game is dusted, but if they get 8 points against Manning then Doubleview will need to get 1 rink over Morley. You would think that will happen so a mathematical possibility becomes a reality unlikelihood.
The game is being played at Manning and I think they will throw the kitchen sink at Cambridge and despite the loss of Steve Patterson for Manning this week and the return of Steve Rushforth for Cambridge, I think Manning will win, but not enough to see finals
MORLEY v DOUBLEVIEW
E Apps, B Kukich, T Dawson, W Hinchliffe
T Ingram, V Princi, W Barker, Neil Minchin
W Mitchell, L Sanders, P Leyland, C Hamilton
J Thomas, S Aungier, P Lawlor, R Dunstan INS: J Thomas OUTS: K Perks
R Moyle, B White, G Faulkner, T Whitfield
C Slavich, C Bessant, A Tennant, L Thorn
S Edmonds, B Brandsma, S Cerff, B McNamara
J Slavich, K McIlroy, R Haring, J Barry INS: No change OUTS:
Will this be the first game to Morley this season? I don't think so, Morley have been gallant all year but have been found short most weeks, they will look at the Manning game and rue the lost opportunity to win that encounter as their best opporunity for the year. Doubleview still have something to play for, they sit 4.5 points behind South Perth and knowing that getting 7 or 8 will pressure South Perth and ensure the Millers need to win at Sorrento. It could mean the difference between a pennant flag for both clubs, play the first day of finals at Doubleview and you lock them in for a grand final. Play it at South Perth and they may not even get to the big dance. As the only grass club likely to play finals, getting to Yokine somehow will be a priority so beating Morley well will be a start they require. Morley currently sit with a shot differential of 666, is the number of the beast going to be enough to lift them up and take some points? One rink win and they get to double figures, they would certainly have thought they'd get more this season but getting to double points will be nice for a club ravaged both during the off season and during the year.
OSBORNE PARK v WARNBRO
L Grigg, B Nairn, R Lawrence, P Potts
G Caffell, S O'Neill, E Martin, I Lilburne
C Packer, K Pickering, M Rollins, G Nicol
N Stevens, D Rowland, R Brown, G King INS: No change OUTS:
J Trewhella, A Cowie, D Nagle, M Trewhella
L Strange, K Cousens, G Jackson, D Phillips
S Novak, B Kalinowsky, W Tan, D Wagstaff
B Cole, P Cole, C Biddle, T DeBrouwer INS: T DeBrouwer OUTS: P Guelfi
2 clubs sitting in some sort of limbo as they both look above and behind and one they will both be wanting to win to finish the season well. In a surprise selection move Lewis Grigg back to skippering and Blake Nairn steps back to a 3rds position. Warnbro bring in Tony deBrouwer at the expense of Guelfi Osborne Park cannot make finals, but in a weird mathmematical anomaly can still be demoted as unlikely as that appears. If Bassendean win, Warnbro beats The Saints 8-0 and Sorrento get 6 points over South Perth, we would see Osborne Park drop to 9th and relegated. That would be an unbelievable result if it were to occur, so Osborne Park need to win on 2 rinks to ensure that doesn't happen, 2 rinks mean they cannot be overtaken by Warnbro and will be safe Warnbro as well have some points in hand over Sorrento but not enough if they lose 0-8 then it opens the door for Sorrento with their superior percentage. But it is something that could happen, so it will be a funny sort of game to play in I suspect. Win 8-0 and they put the pressure back on Osborne Park but they will be hoping South Perth do the job at Sorrento and make them breathe a bit easier. Even a 7-1 win and they will overtake Ossy Park. They are 2.5 behind Bassendean so they really need to win to ensure they overtake the Lions, an admirable loss and it is unlikely they will catch them.
Osborne Park 7-1
SORRENTO v SOUTH PERTH
S Loftus, R Cunningham, I Linford, M Browne
B Eagles, M Hulbert, P Crow, G Murray
R Butler, P Murray, G Taylor, B Gunson
C Lander, T Murray, M Burton, P Morgan INS: No change OUTS:
J Opie, B Manton, T Kinnane, K Pride
N Griffin, T Antonio, D Mortley, M Biglin
S Walker, N Reagan, T Reid, F Anderson
G Pauling, A Sharp, D Downey, M Cranswick INS: No change OUTS:
Our final game with top spot and demotion spot on the line, it will probably be the most keenly contested out of all the games South Perth want that top spot and as alluded to above, I think top spot means a grand final appearance for South Perth. With Doubleview likely to get 8 points, it means South Perth need to win to maintain top spot on the ladder. They have actually won 6 away games this year so they would be heavily favoured to win and take that top spot and get the home finals series. Sorrento also for them the equation is simple, they need to rely on other results somewhat but one thing they do need to do is win, they lose and they are out. When you look at their percentage it sits them 4th in the league at the moment and 1 more aggregate win than Warnbro but it highlights the importance of rink wins as Warnbro and Bassendean sit above them due to the rink wins along the way. Because of that percentage, a good win and they can leapfrog the other losing teams, so like South Perth they will be wanting to win.
It will be a keenly fought contest and a game a lot of other clubs will be waiting for the result of.