Welcome back everyone & we hope you had a wonderful holiday break & are well rested, unless you got involved in the relentless comps over the break. Some nice results from 1 White bowlers in the State Pairs so congrats to all who advanced so far.
Back to business.....Sorrento are stretching their legs quite nicely but things can change & the chasing pack will be maintaining the pressure while looking for any slip or drop in form. Lets not forget how good Sorrento were last year, at the start of R13 they were 5th & only 1.5pts outside of the 4th place Finals spot. And by Finals yes I mean PL finals! They had just beaten the Premiers (The View) & The Saints back to back & were sitting in a beautiful spot while grabbing serious scalps & had a very healthy 110% SD. What happened after that, who knows but they only got about 10pts from the next 6 games & got relegated on the very last game by the smallest of margins while still posting a solid 63.5pts on the final ladder. So as much as we can 'predict' who might finish where, there's always some story to play out during the run home when the pressure builds & every team digs a little deeper to fight for every point. Moral of the story is anything can & will happen so bring on the drama of the next 11 weeks & let the pressure rise.
This could be Round of home wins as most of the home sides are looking strong which could provide a clean sweep for the home teams to kick start the stress end to the season.
OSBORNE PARK v WARWICK
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I wouldn’t mind tipping Warwick for this game but the Saints are travelling very well & Warwick are going in the opposite direction. If Warwick can forget recent form of losing 3 in a row they can win this one but some brain switch needs twisting to bring back their early season form. Although those loses were close they were against teams they know they should of put away if they expect to play Finals. The crystal ball predictor still has them tracking to finish 5th and only 1pt behind Finals in 4th so everything to play for.
The Saints are still trucking along very nicely and we surely be very keen on the restart to make maximum impact & grab the full points on hand this weekend. They have 3 of the next 4 games at home so watch out for a little Osborne Park purple patch coming. The huge game from that 4 games is R11 & their only away game to Wanneroo. On the predicted this game could easily decide who gets 2nd spot for Finals but we'll cross that bridge when we get there as plenty of bowls between now & then. Other than that R7 loss to Sorrento they have won every other game since R2 so you would expect them to put this one away but I think the break for Warwick came at the right time & they will be keen to get back on the winning train, so close game predicted.
Osborne Park 6 - 2
SORRENTO v KARDINYA
C Lander, R Cunningham, B Lucas, W Elliott
R Butler, A Barron, M Burton, B Gunson
S Loftus, P Flack, L Oldham, S Mortimer
S Rixom, M Hulbert, T Murray, G Murray IN: F Tyson, G Taylor OUT: W Elliott, S Mortimer
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Running out of compliments for the Swans as they keep the momentum and winning ways. 12.5pts ahead or over 2 games ahead, strong percentage & winning the tough games by clear margins. The only note of improvement is probably expected from Rixom's rink as they look to not make it 3 losses in a row & get back on winning form.
Kardinya's big win in R8 has pulled them out of trouble but a big loss here & some bottom teams picking up some wins could see them back down again. They have 2 away games in a row now so a few tough weeks ahead before they get home for 2 in a row. They have bounced back well in December & currently sitting 4 wins & 4 losses which gives them 5th spot & the upside is huge for them as they are only 0.5pts off a Finals spot in 4th. If the Kats can keep this close late on they might have a chance but they need a big lift on previous weeks to trouble the Swans here.
Sorrento 7 - 1
ROSSMOYNE v COCKBURN
L Jervies, D Price, R Mitchell, V Andrews
E Gollan, R Vind, D Green, B O'Brien
R Lang, R Halse, D Haddow, B Cranswick
A Petchell, W Harvey, G Beacroft, P Lees IN: No change OUT:
M Sokol, G Goddard, S Srhoy, G Maesepp
W Tepania, P Brotherston, D Ravlich, L Bloomfield
J Marevich, I Mateljak, J Ricci, B Dropulic
M Musulin, M Simunovich, M Krajancic, B Blagaich IN: S Srhoy OUT: M Zusman
The River Rats are at that tipping point over the next few weeks....win everything & they have finals chance, lose 2 & they’ll probably get swallowed up into mid table late on. They are a game ahead of 4th & 5th which helps them but they probably need to get more scores on the board as their average scoring is quite low for their ladder position. They have an absolutely Golden ticket over the next 4 weeks as they enjoy 2 homes games back to back but more importantly all 4 games are against the bottom sides so that scoring average should lift dramatically over the next 4 weeks if they are the real deal.
Cockburn haven't won since R5 & only winning 2 games from 8 isn't helping their situation. The upside is a draw & the loses were close & some very close against some good sides. Unfortunately there's small margins to stay afloat in 1 White & they need to convert those late losses into wins to get themselves out of trouble. I'm slightly worried for them as they have 3 of the next 4 on the road & that 1 home game is against Sorrento, so this could spiral very quickly for the Roosters unless they put the shoulder to the wheel now or that ship will sail.
Rossmoyne will probably view this one in simple maths, where they need to put away the bottom teams or they have no right in dreaming of PL. I just can't see them losing 3 in a row at home & on the back of that big away win in R8 they should be fine here.
Rossmoyne 7 - 1
SOUTH PERTH v WANNEROO
M McRae, G Reagan, D Bandy, M Petrich
B Roelefs, P Holmes, J Percival, J Cunningham
D Calvo, R Havercroft, R Negus, L Moretti
S Kelly, V Santostefano, E Munnelly, B Owen IN: J Cunningham OUT: J McDonnell
C Buchholz, D Griffin, R Humphryson, H Whitman
D Turra, E Widermanski, B Nelson, B McMurdo
S Denny, D Anderson, C Johnson, L Bryson
H Ward, G Sarich, D Burns, B Bucowski IN: D Griffin, C Johnson OUT: K Toster, N Palmer
Tricky game where the Roo’s confidence will be slightly dented by that shock R8 loss to the River Rats & the Millers won’t mind the advantage of home surface to kick start R9. South Perth probably need some favourably matchups to get the upset as the Roo’s are pretty solid across 3 strong rinks so a close game is expected.
One rink that might take advantage is the McRae rink. Unsure the reasoning behind having 4 skippers in one rink but it worked to a tee in R8 at Kardinya so why change?! The other strong rink seems to a Kelly’s & they we’re unlucky in R8. South Perth need a big lift across the board, especially on the experienced back ends with Calvo, Roelofs stuck on 1 from the last 4 & will be keen on making up for those wide margins losses in R8. The Millers can certainly make a run from here but it has to start this weekend. If they can build some confidence & get playing like they know they can they have a golden opportunity as they have 4-5 (easyish) games against non-top teams until they meet Sorrento away in R14. They realistically need 4 from 5 to give them a chance of getting out of trouble but it's certainly achievable.
However, the Roos have ample firepower even after the Costello exit as Griffin & Johnson come in, although surprisingly the lucky charm in Palmer drops out. Denny steps in as skipper & desperately needs a win as the last one was way back in R3. Similar for Ward as he's surprisingly sitting on 1 from 5 after such a strong start to the season winning by large margins. Turra is currently carrying the mantle & will be odds on to make it 5 in a row.
The Millers have 2 home games in a row now & not taking 2 from 2 will certainly knock a few initial nails in the relegation coffin so it’s game time for both sides.
Wanneroo 6 - 2
BASSENDEAN v MORLEY
J Krstic, T Lynch, W Davidson, N Kirkup
E O'Sullivan, A Smith, L McKay, P Harber
R Revell, B Dinnison, J Morss, J Holman
M Erceg, P Madigan, G Stokes, D Snelgar IN: B Dinnison, G Stokes OUT: R D'Souza, T Alden
W Mitchell, T Vlahos, B Driscoll, C Hamilton
T Dawson, G Grieve, K Nazareth, B Harris
L Sanders, J Thomas, J Engelen, W Hinchcliffe
W Barker, V Princi, N Minchin, R Dunstan IN: N Minchin OUT: P Wharam
Pretty straightforward games for the Lions as they should pickup maximum points & continue they’re strong form.
Basso make some surprise changes to selections as D’Souza drops out after posting some well needed wins with a struggling Rockets rink. Although any changes should have little effect this week at home to Morley so any judgement will be deferred until next week. Confidence will be high over the last month's performances so they'll be pretty keen on keeping the greens fast & looking for some big scores on each end. Krstic/Lynch need to continue supporting the rest as they look to build on the last few wins after their 1 from 6 start. The good signs for Basso is that each week another rink helps prop up the win with no-one really bing the driving force. If they can get the dominant skippers putting together a nice run they'll be out of trouble soon enough & believe it or not they could be within 1pt of a Finals spot with a huge win, combined with some upsets above them, what a turnaround that would be?!
There's a few green shots for Morley over the last few weeks but they need more in the 2nd half of the season to ensure they can stay competitive in 1 Blue. Realistically they need 3 wins to have any chance of surviving in 1 Blue as they can't go 40 games without a win & suddenly expect to survive in a lower division which is quite competitive in comparison to 1 White. Morley have also made some changes as Wharam is another surprise omission as he was travelling well with Barker. Morley need a lift from the likes of Mitchell/Nazareth and Sanders/Thomas to make an impact here & going forward.
The Lions should take this one quite comfortably & make it a valuable 4 in a row & further get themselves up the ladder.