A couple of huge surprises on Saturday, with both of last years second division winners in the Manning Eagles, and the Fremantle Mariners having wins over two very seasoned first division sides. The Eagles successful with a comfortable twelve shots over the Leeming Lions, and the Mariners having a narrow three shot win over the Thornlie Ravens.
But the big win of the day was gained by The Bay, who once again proved that they are extremely hard to beat at home. The Kookaburras had a long journey home to Gosnells, after succumbing to a fired up Safety Bay, losing by some thirty five shots.
One unbeaten side now remains, that of The Bay.
HILTON PARK 87 (6) v VICTORIA PARK CARLISLE 83 (2)
Travis Simpson 23 v Robert Johnson 19
Craig Standley 25 v Michael Simms 12
Robert Hunter 22 v David Florance 24
Gary Dodd 17 v John Hiskins 28
The Hawks squeezed out a narrow four shot win at home over the fighting Reds outfit, thus showing that they mean business in this their second year in 1st Blue South.
They picked up six points, to now sit a creditable fourth on the table. Butler, Smith, Bajic and Skip Standley carried the aggregate with a comfortable thirteen shot win over the Simms foursome. Young Travis Simpson grabbed the other win, beating Johnson narrowly. Hoskins and Florance the two winners for the visitors, in what I have been told was a thrilling contest.
The Reds are showing good signs in their games, but are not quite getting the bikkies.
LEEMING 77 (2) v MANNING 89 (6)
Karl Vandersluys 23 v Brian Jeppesen 22
Alexander Anderson 15 v Alan Pryce 25
Gary Ford 17 v Stephen Hughes 23
James Newton 22 v Shane Adams 19
What another great win to the resurgent Eagles, beating the Lions by twelve shots away from home. I picked the home side to totally demolish the visitors, how wrong was i proven to be.
The team of Merv Hughes, John Andrew, David Mcilhenney and evergreen skip in Alan Pryce having a comfortable and match winning victory over Alex Anderson and his team.
The veteran four skipped by Steve Hughes, gaining the other point for the Eagles.
Karl Vandersluys and his rink, along with the Newton four salvaging two points for the dispirited home side, who were expected to win this one. Manning leapfrogging Leeming to now sit in third spot on the ladder. Maybe the Lions are leaning on the Vandersluys magic a little too much.
The Eagles headed to the Lion’s Den full of confidence after last week’s 8-0 result. And they brought that form with them from the beginning, with all teams looking very comfortable in the first half of the game. However, Leeming kicked it up a gear midway, and that comfortable Manning lead gradually diminished.
Toward the end of the match, two rinks pretty much finished together with Leeming winning both by a combined margin of just 4 shots. However, the final two rinks still had another 4 ends each to play…so a lot of ends to either be able to manufacture a win or to have to hold on for a win.
The spectators on the balcony were treated to a great finish to the match. All four groups had killed ends throughout the day, hence the time difference to the other rinks, and so it was difficult for any team to be able to hold onto their shots. Both Manning teams held their nerve and went on to win by 10 and 6, thereby giving Manning an overall win by 12 and an Agg win 6-2
The win takes Manning to third on the ladder with another away trip this week to Vic Park and a Reds Team that seem to be playing themselves into a bit of form of late.
Jeppersen, Ellis, Wright, Evans 22
Vandersluys, Boys, Johnson, Birrell 23
The Jeppersen rink looked comfortable all day, but the Lions fought back in the second half to take out a win by the closest of margins.
Pryce, McLLHeney, Andrew, Hughes 25
Anderson, Bennetts, Hickey, Cleal 15
A great win by the Pryce rink really contributed to the overall win for the day. In the last few ends the experienced leading of Hughes really put the pressure on the Leeming team. The Pryce rink now starting to show their form from last year will have opposition Skips wary of drawing them for the rest of this season.
Adams, Adams, Rees, Lill 19
Newton, Dobie, Anderson, Bellis 22
Another close one and ‘what could have been’ for the Adams Rink. Seemingly in control all day again until dropping a 5 on the last end to go down by 3. On the last end Lion’s Skip Newton had 2 chances to take the kitty back for 5, missing with the first….but playing his last perfectly.
Hughes, Hogg, Connell, Lambert 23
Ford, Burgess, Freeman, Lipple 17
The Manning team were always putting the pressure on here, especially due to a great game from Eagle Second Connell. The relentless front end pressure had Leeming Skip Ford driving throughout the day, usually very successfully. However, on the second last end playing away from the club with a full balcony of onlookers, Eagles Skip Hughes sat out shot bowl on the very difficult narrow hand with his first, and then drew another with his second to pretty much seal the team victory for Manning.
FREMANTLE 71 (6) v THORNLIE 68 (2)
Barry Coote 13 v Gary Beckwith 19
Mark Gill 18 v Norman Holden 15
Dinko Bacich 12 v Glyn Vaughan 26
Shaun McCormack 28 v Tony Churcher 8
Wow, did i get the result of this game wrong as well, picking an eight to zip win to the experienced Raven side. But the Mariners produced a fighting and very spirited victory, my Raven informant told me.
The visitors were in front all day, with the home side only hitting the front at the penultimate end, to snatch an unlikely three shot win over the shell shocked Ravens.
The veteran rink skipped by the wily Glynn Vaughan did their best to win this one for the Ravens as they had a very comfortable win over the Bacich foursome.
But the four comprising veterans Roley Ireland and Jimmy Stewart, Andrew Hocken and promising young skip Shaun McCormack, walloped the Churcher rink by twenty shots. The margin in this game proved to be the catalyst for the other rinks at Fremantle who showed a lot of fighting spirit, especially with their two leading skips in Wachmer and Heldt missing.
ARMADALE 70 (2) v SPEARWOOD 84 (6)
Chadd Hunt 9 v Ivan Unkovich 26
Brian Davis 32 v Vled Pesich 18
Blair Griffiths 18 v Ivan Perica 16
Brandon Heta 11 v Ken Nadilo 24
The Storm showing a lot more fight in this game, only losing by a reasonably small margin to the visiting Spearwood sixteen, but lose they did, unfortunately for them.
Fourteen shots was the difference after the completion of eighty four ends, but I believe that the Storm challenged throughout, only to succumb to the visitors at the finish.
Ivan Unkovich, with Bob Bavcevic, Brian Vidovich and Nik Silich were the match winners for Spearwood, winning by seventeen shots over the Hunt foursome.
Brian Davis and his Storm teammates in Ron Baker, Mark Byrne and Craig Davis tried to stem the tide, in beating the Pesich rink by fourteen shots.
The Storm now lonely at the bottom of the table without an aggregate win to date unfortunately
SAFETY BAY 98 (7) v GOSNELLS 63 (1)
Ron Hall 19 v Grant Nicol 17
Christopher Owen 27 v Frank Carbone 16
Chris Carruthers 30 v Maurice Crabb 7
Paul Beaumont 22 v Brett Holland 23
The Bay showing at this stage that they are virtually unbeatable at their fortress down the coast at Safety Bay. Maybe it’s the journey, but it is more likely the tricky old synthetic that they continue to play on. Obviously The Bay prefer this green over the two newer ones that they have spent a lot of money on.
You may remember in my preview that I asked for a Hall versus Nicol clash, and that is what eventuated. Must have been a ripper of a contest, with the General losing his first game, but only by two shots, Hall and his rink hard to beat anywhere, let alone at home.
But the big winner for the home side was the rink skipped by Chris Carruthers, with Bruno McVicar, John Radford and reliable lead in Scott Foran. They completely demolished the Crabb four to the tune of twenty three shots, and in doing so set up the aggregate win.
The only winner for the visitors was Brett Holland and his team of Mike Rickard, Nigel Tulett and third Colin Hickinbotham.