Finally, a Round that went as expected. Not alone did all 5 predictions come through as expected but every scoring prediction came through as predicted for the first time this year which shows how difficult the year has been.
We have a proper nail biter at the top with both Mossies and The Bay doing what was needed & get their business done. The Mossies are now top by a single point but The Bay are chasing hard & with the superior percentage difference, if they get one more point than Mossies they'll take the biscuits as the percentage is already over 60 shots which Mossies cannot claw that back in 1 remaining game. Wanneroo have tucked themselves in the slip stream that if either team drop their bundle they'll cruise into top spot but this is unlikely, although of the top 3 teams only 1 team is playing at home in R18.....you guessed it it's the Roo's, so anything can happen.
Although 9th & 10th has been confirmed for some weeks now, the fight for 7th & 8th is a complete lottery at the moment & we're in for a epic finale to the season with 4 teams neck & neck with it all going down to the last game. I don't remember a finish this close with 4 teams spread across 4 positions with only a single point, yes 1 POINT between 4 teams with 2 of them going into playoff's. It's going to be impossible to call but 2 of the 4 teams play each other so that will be a simple equation....whoever wins stays up. The other 2 sides both have very tricky games AWAY to 2 top sides where both top sides need to win to grab the magic ticket into the PL. This will be very exciting. With only 5 days to go they'll be plenty of folks down for practice this week.
Let's go back to R7 predictions & see how we did from the early season call. After such a season of upsets I kind of expected the predictions to be way out but again they are pretty accurate from the early call apart from Warwick who have an unbelievably comeback of the ages. The positions remain similar in that the top 4 will remain as predicted. Predicted 8th & 9th turned out to be 9th & 10th and the mid-table tussle was called accurate with 3 of the 4 teams now in that position with 1 game to go.
If I was seriously pushed to make a call on those 4 sides, for entertainment factor I would say Gosnells & Warwick would maybe stay up & safe. This is more based on Gosnells playing at home, so you would have to think they'll get 2pts & stay safe. Or get 6 shots with a blow out rink & not care about the over Agg & let Warwick grab a valuable 2pts. With Quinns & Bassendean they have it tougher against the top sides but I'm happy to call that if Basso grab 2pts away they'll be on 69pts & that's being my magic number over the last month so they just might stay safe. Nearly impossible to call but it will certainly go down to the last few bowls on Saturday.
Lindsay Hill 27 v Kingsley Toster 20
Geoffrey Hinge 11 v David Triffitt 25
Brian Ledingham 22 v Hugh Ward 17
Jon Borkowski 19 v Darren Turra 25
Huge 2 pts for the Magpies against the Roo's. Yes the result was very close & we did say they'll be 8 or 9 in the results & it finished with a 8shot difference. To Warwick's credit they fought solid all day but just couldn't pull back that blowout rink but grabbing 2pts brings them level with nearly everyone else in this epic battle for the dreaded playoff spots.
Hill's side got the Magpies off to a flyer with 7 shots over Toster. Ledingham backed that in by adding another win with 5 shots over Ward & suddenly Warwick were looking great. Turra's side had other idea's as they grabbed 6 shots off Borkowski & then Triffitt's stepped up again with the heroics by nailing Hinge by 14 shots which was the main difference in the end.
There is still a glimmer of hope for the Roo's to take top spot but they'll be preparing for Finals either way. Warwick will be disappointed they didn't get more out of this game but they pushed one of the better sides all the way. I'm figuring that the Magpies need a minimum of 2pts from their last game & they should stay up by maybe half a point or score difference (again).
Result: Wanneroo 6 - 2
Prediction: Wanneroo 6 - 2
Quinns Rocks 87 (7) v Osborne Park 57 (1)
John Berecz 24 v John Carter 16
Christopher Parr 27 v Fernando Di Giuseppe 11
Martin Hinchcliffe 12 v Mark Pasalich 18
Rohan Cantrill 24 v George Smith 12
Quinns needed this one big time & they put the Saints to the sword early on as they cruised to a 30shot win over a side that were travelling ok recently. Quinns are now all square with Warwick on 66pts & have Gosnells half a point ahead on 66.5pts so they have every chance of staying up if the final game goes their way. They won't want 1 or 2pts on the last as their score difference is nearly 20 shots behind Gosnells but even though their score differential is lower than Warwick their score difference percentage is fractionally lower, although from my working Quinns are only 2 shots off Warwick's percentage. That is just incredible that after they have put down a combined 2,856 shots each, both teams are only 2 shots off each other. If that isn't a confirmation that EVERY bowl counts, then I don't know what is.
For Quinns Berecz was the usual rock as he ran over Carter by 8 shots. Parr added some serious scoring to the Agg by blasting DiGiuseppe out of the water by 16shots. Pasalich continued their good year by pulling a point back for the Saints with a 6 shot win over Hinchcliffe. Cantrill knocked the nail in the coffin against Smith with a very handy dozen shot win to give the Quinns a huge 7pts & chance of staying up.
Quinns have a very nervous week ahead with some much on the line. A win should see them safe but their away record & having to travel to Wanneroo will make that difficult. They'll need at least 2pts to 2.5pts to give them even a glimmer of hope & hope that others don't pick up anything. I would be very surprised not to see the Saints will be back in 1 White next year.
Christopher Owen 26 v Frank Carbone 12
Chris Carruthers 31 v Trevor Close 22
Grant Taylor 18 v Brett Holland 21
Ron Hall 19 v Grant Nicol 15
The Bay needed a big lift & they delivered at home where they have delivered nearly all season. Another big margin win at home was exactly what they required & certainly helps the percentage.
Owen's side continued their impressive ability to deliver game after game with another huge performance as they cruised past Carbone's side by 14 shots. Not to be outdone Carruthers knocked over 9 shots over Close is a very high scoring game with 53 shots registered over 21 ends. Taylor fell to Holland by 3 shots but Hall picked up the slack to push past Nicol's good side by 4 shots.
The Bay are travelling well & the club seems to be travelling excellently over all their divisions as you look at their top 3 sides & they are contesting the top spots across the divisions which must be great for the club & shows a good depth of talent coming through. Gosnells have done pretty well this season considering. I had them in trouble from early predictions of finishing 7th but they are sitting 6th & have every chance of staying safe which I would imagine would have been the aim from the start of the season.
Result: Safety Bay 7 - 1
Prediction: Safety Bay 7 - 1
Bassendean 82 (6) v Kardinya 77 (2)
Rodney Revell 21 v Craig Stokes 19
Eugene O'Sullivan 27 v Norm Ball 19
Travis Lynch 19 v John Rochford 20
Aidan Caccioppoli 15 v Stephen Vinci 19
The Lions needed a big Agg here & got the 6pts, although 7 or 8pts would have also helped a huge amount. 6pts still gets them to 67pts & that's 1pt ahead of the chasing pack, which could be hugely valuable after 5pm this Saturday.
Rocket edged Stokes by 2shots in a very close game all day. O'Sullivan had the clubman of the year playing well in 3rd spot as they knocked over Ball by 8 shots which was the difference all day between the teams. Rochford edged the struggling Lynch (2 wins from 8) but only by the minimum margin in another very tight contest. And Vinci grabbed another valuable point off the Lions by pushing past Caccioppoli by 4 shots.
Where to from here for the Kats, well they'll play well in 1 Blue South & have a very good chance of coming back up. Basso have a massive game for R18, to hold their spot in 1 White where they'll be joined by their PL side next year if they stay up. If they don't it will be a disappointing year for Basso with the top side & 2nd side dropping down. However the 3rd side did very well & will play 1 Blue next year for sure. So we could have a Basso in 1 White & 2 x 1 Blue next year which would be very interesting. I do think 2pts could save them this weekend but it's very very tight in that playoff zone.
Scott Edmonds 25 v William Baker 13
Louie Beurteaux 18 v Lindsay Strange 24
Dale Marsland 30 v Kieran Cousens 15
Cameron Hoffman 12 v Sean Mawdsley 21
Massive game for both sides with so much on the line & the Mossies looking to make up for the mishap the week before. The Mossies started very well but both teams were taking chunks out of each other for most of the game until the final quarter where Mosman Park just managed to find that extra few shots across the rinks to get them over the line by a dozen shots.
Edmonds side lead the charge by winning by that magically dozen shots over Baker to get the Mossies off to a flyer on the boards. However, Strange stepped up as they have done all season & grabbed a point back for the Wizards with 6 shots over Beurteaux. Then Mawdsley had them in all sorts of trouble with a big 9 shot win over Hoffman. Cometh the hour, cometh the Marsland......they were just superb against a good side in Cousens as they put togeher a huge 15 shot win & with it swung the Agg back over to the Mossies to keep them top of the bus with only 1 game left. Yes both top sides have an Away game in R18 so it'll be extremely interesting to see how that will turn out. Could both top sides drop the bundle again & allow the Roo's to come home with a wet sail & snatch it on the death?! If the Mossies get 2.5pts from the last game & Safety Bay don't grab the Agg then I would see the Mossies still retain the top spot on score difference but it's super close. The only guarantee the Mossies have is if they win the last game by more than the Bay they go through. What they do not want is to see them getting 6pts & The Bay grabbing 7pts as Safety Bay's sscore difference would send them straight into the PL. This will be a nail biter of a finish with multiple possible outcomes.
Result: Mosman Park 6 - 2
Prediction: Mosman Park 6 - 2