Coming into the finale we have been thinking, how could you find the best player this season?! Well the answer is pretty simple just look at the Player's Ladder & we see Owens side, Mawdsley side, Echo & McMurdo for the Roo's & Beurteaux side but all of those were locked in & didn't change much for the year, albeit Echo's rink where the front end got mixed up a little throughout the year & Turra missed a few games. Congrats to you all but that's too easy, therefore let's try & dig up the hidden gem, the dependable workhorse, the clubman, the utility player that gets pushed into different teams throughout the year to fill a gap or shore up the defence but overall have the ability to transcend team politics but rolls up his sleeves & gets in a make a difference. There was a ridiculous amount of info we've had to digest to get the below so hopefully it's enjoyable. And yes, this is rather subjective as the winner surely will not have won anything close to the current leaders around 11 to 12 games so we'll try our best to make it somewhat entertaining & will exclude skippers as they get wayyy too much credit already. .
Ok so first off the ranks is Mossies Terry Cranswick. He started the season off with his own rink, then jumped over to Hoffman, then over to Marsland, then back to Hoffman & has locked himself in there since R9 & won 8 from 15 games which is above average especially considering the changes. Hoffman himself has had a few changes but let's keep the skippers out of this one for now. We could also go for DiGiuseppe as he played lead, 2nd, 3rd & back to skippering now but that mightn't be realistic as he was coming back in after recovering. Either way it's good to see him back playing good bowls again. Another skipper not shy of voicing his grievances that saw a significant number of changes is Rocket Revell. I wouldn't give you the total number of personnel changes however it will only give him fuel to burn & that's just not fair to the others around the Lions bar (joking, not joking)!! Despite the challenges Rocket has come through as Lions top skippers so credit to him this year.
I also like Shane Smith from Quinns. He played 3rd to Berecz, then lead, then changed over to Hinchcliffe & has continued to win more games than anyone else at Quinns all season.I'd also like to give Mark Pasalich a shoutout for great season with numerous changes as he solidified his position with the Saints. However to win the most versatile clubman of the year I think you have to have 3 significant moves or more & still be within a winning side the majority of the time. Therefore I'm focusing more on the midtable to lower table teams & the 1 standout for me is JOHN MORSS. He has 9 games this season & Basso have only won 7 Aggs. He started off 3rd to Rocket, then moved to 2nd, then moved to 3rd for Krstic, then 3rd to N.Smith, then in the last round moving 3rd to E.O'Sullivan & grabbing Basso's only point upon that change. Players do thrive off consistency but sometimes the club asks you step & deliver as they need to make some changes elsewhere & need guys to more around to support that change. This is that recognition award, so congrats to John Morss on a great year delivering for Bassendean.
Good luck to all this weekend, enjoy the penultimate game.
WARWICK v WANNEROO
L Hill, G Smith, M Golding, D Herbert
G Hinge, B McNamara, R Newstead, R Loran
B Ledingham, C Boyle, K Pearce, D Dunstan
J Borkowski, A Hornby, A Henneker, I Sparrowhawk IN: L Hill, R Newstead OUT: G Bobridge, C Shier
D Turra, E Widermanski, B Nelson, B McMurdo
K Toster, D Griffin, G Jack, H Whitman
H Ward, M Nievelstein, G Sarich, B Bucowski
D Triffitt, L Bryson, N Palmer, J Tailor IN: No changes OUT:
If the Magpies win this they should be safe for the season so they'll be right up for this one, big time. You can forget ladder positions now over every game because this is Finals like games with every team having to win at all costs.
On form this one is easy to call as its Warwick all the way winning the last 4 in a row with the Roo's losing the last 3 from 4. Few changes for Warwick & none for the Roo's which is nice to see. I can't see this one having more then 8 or 9 in the final result. This one should go right down to the wire. I will back the Roo's because if they can't find a way here then it's all in vain.
Wanneroo 6 - 2
QUINNS ROCKS v OSBORNE PARK
R Cantrill, A Barker, T Hines, R Thomas
C Parr, D Rogers, C Bartle, S Cooper
M Hinchcliffe, S Smith, T Burrows, S Cavanagh
J Berecz, B Crawford, R Cole, L Johnson IN: S Newbey OUT: D Rogers
J Carter, B Boyd, G Dick, I Bryden
F Di Giuseppe, R Clark, J Minchin, T Evans
M Pasalich, P Allen, H Beagley, L Bell
G Smith, A Pasalich, W Brown, M Swift IN: C Fleay, T Ingram, A Garlick OUT: G Dick, H Beagley, W Brown
Quinns are literally playing for their lives here against a side that has dominated some excellent sides recently. Quinns need every point on offer to get themselves out of trouble & hope they can get something out of the last game.
The Saints are very dangerous as they have nothing to play for & are playing great bowls to finish their season off. Osborne Park have added some handy recruits for this game so it will be a little harder for Quinns to run over the top. The Quinns will be very reliant on those dominant skippers to produce & need 1 blow out rink to get the Agg here. If it's within 5shots with 2 ends to play, I'll would go with the Saints.
Quinns Rocks 7 - 1
SAFETY BAY v GOSNELLS
C Owen, R Kennedy, P Daynes, S Gallon
C Carruthers, Z Boddy, G Wilkes, S Foran
G Taylor, S Hide, G Ogg, L Piper
R Hall, A Holmes, J Thorington, S McBriar IN: No changes OUT:
G Nicol, S Harris, N Tulett, D Bradbury
B Holland, G Lynch, T Auckland, M Rickard
T Close, M Crabb, P Gale, C Watters
F Carbone, C Hickinbotham, P Deas, R McKay IN: M Crabb OUT: E Gahan
The Bay at home are a formidable sight to most teams & I'm expecting the same this Round. Gosnells have won 4 on the road but the Bay have only lost 1 at home & they have also put up some big scores against the mid-ladder sides.
The Kookaburra's are stuck looking at this from 2 sides, 1) is a big win gets them into a possible Finals shot if others fail ahead of them & 2) get nothing & the chasing pack will drag them down into that dreaded 7th possie. Alot to play for both teams but I'm siding with the home side on form.
Safety Bay 7 - 1
BASSENDEAN v KARDINYA
E O'Sullivan, J Morss, M Potente, D Snelgar
T Lynch, B Tie, W Davidson, N Kirkup
A Caccioppoli, J Krstic, G Needs, M Bessant
R Revell, B Dinnison, H Goddard, M Watson IN: No changes OUT:
N Ball, W Bezant, R Knapp, D Wood
S Vinci, G Fewings, C Vinci, M Holt
C Stokes, C Booth, K Stower, G Knight
J Rochford, R McNamara, D Regan, J Edgar IN: No changes OUT:
Again Basso needs as many points as they can grab here to get them clear of trouble as they do not want that playoff spot again. It might be a good time to get the Kats as they had a fantastic win last week to give themselves a little home confidence boost & have not alot to play for now. In saying that their away record is better than their home so they'll be challenging where they can.
The Lions should take this one as the seriousness of the situation comes down on them, as they won't want to be looking for 6pts away in R18.
Bassendean 6 - 2
MOSMAN PARK v WARNBRO
C Hoffman, M Cranswick, T Cranswick, R Kershaw
D Marsland, S Swanson, W Tan, T Massang
S Edmonds, S Jocelyn, D Adams, M Van Bemmel
L Beurteaux, A Gryta, P Fair, M Robertson IN: No changes OUT:
K Cousens, T Dellar, J Pattullo, D Sudden
W Baker, D Pattullo, I Gibson, B Starling
L Strange, Dr G Jackson, A Shone, D Phillips
S Mawdsley, K Bancroft, M Rae, D Kitson IN: D Phillips OUT: T Lutey
What a game this will be. This is not only game of the Round, this is game of the SEASON!! Both sides are tripping over themselves to get to that top spot & although the Mossies were travelling with 4 wins in a row they dropped an important one last Round. The Wizards won the last game but are still have only won 3 games since Xmas which is very surprising.
Whereas Safety Bay might love a draw here & they run over the top of both sides with a big win, it's probably unlikely as someone will win this one albeit it being a guaranteed nail biter. I think the winner of this game goes straight into PL but I've given up on predictions after this season. There should be a good crowd out for this one & it should be an absolute gem of a game to watch.