Some tighter games this Round as we register our first draw combined with some reasonable upsets but overall a very competitive weekend of bowls by most teams as they tussle for early ladder position.
Osborne Park 66 (2) v Kardinya 91 (6)
John Carter 21 v Norm Ball 34
Mark Pasalich 16 v Wayne Bezant 15
Ronald Stockton 9 v Craig Stokes 27
Michael Dewson 20 v Stephen Vinci 15
Mayday, Mayday, Mayday are the calls coming out from Osborne Park as another team steam roll them with some ease. Kardinya needed a strong response & came to play & even though the Saints grabbed some rinks the concern was the ease at which the other 2 rinks pulled away unchallenged.
It bounced the right way again for Norm's four as the Ball rink went back-to-back for the big W's & that's probably +29shots over the last 2 games which is a fantastic turnaround from the previous 2 scores & what is more impressive is it's pretty much the same side which shows good resolve to knuckle down & play hard. Ball took Carter by 13 shots in the end which now leave Carter 0-3 for the season. Bezant got ever so close to Pasalich as he & Allen did a little 3rd/skipper switcharoo to freshen things up & it worked by the minimum of margins. Vinci dropped some late scores which is always hard to claw back from Dewson, especially at home as Dewson's side won by 5 shots.
However the story of the day for the Kats was the Stokes rink which ran right over Stockton's side by 18 shots to record a huge win away & to put the Agg beyond doubt. Unfortunately for Stockton's side that -41shots over the last 2 games & 0-3 for the season but they are still finding their feet as a new team & with the changes across Osborne Park these things are to be expected. With 2Pts from the last 24 available it's certainly massive alarm bells for the Saints but they bounce back soon enough. Kats move up to 7th spot & only 0.5pt off 6th which will give them good confidence coming into next week against one of the favourites.
Brett Holland 21 v Sean Mawdsley 22
Frank Carbone 14 v Dennis Pattullo 23
Eoghan Gahan 20 v Lindsay Strange 24
Grant Nicol 21 v Kieran Cousens 17
Predicted to be close & this was hard fought across most of the rinks all day. The Kookaburrah's did lose their unbeaten status but only losing by 10 shots to the ladder leaders will be a good barometer for them over the coming Rounds.
Mawdsley's side did continue their winning ways by falling over the finishing line on the last end to win by the minimum margin against Holland but that's now 3-0 for a strong rink for the Wizards. The other dominant rink for Warnbro is the Strange rink which again flexed some muscle over Gahan's side to grab a nice 4 shot win to swing the pendulum their way for the Agg. Although the big win & Agg carry was undoubtedly Pattullo 9 shot win over Carbone which is not that easy against a side who play very well at home. Only 5 skippers left with a perfect record so far this season & the Wizards have 2 of those 5 which shows they'll be hard to beat whoever they play. Gosnell's lost very little in defeat & will take a lot from this game across a strong 1 White side.
Result: Warnbro 7 - 1
Prediction: Warnbro 6 - 2
Wanneroo 82 (3.5) v Safety Bay 82 (4.5)
Darren Turra 26 v Christopher Owen 10
Kingsley Toster 16 v Chris Carruthers 26
Hugh Ward 19 v Ron Hall 25
David Triffitt 21 v Aaron Freeman 21
Really had to double check this result before letting it soak in. What a superb performance by The Bay to travel up the freeway & snatch 4.5pts against a very strong home side who are playing very good bowls of late. This result is probably not unexpected whatsoever as The Bay had the Wizards first up & lost in a close game, then they smashed the Saints & then took a good half scalp here so the form is franked from Round 1.
The Roo's are probably not completely disappointed as they knew they were in a right battle from the start as both sides went punch for punch all day. This started with Turra given the Roo's a great buffer of 16 huge shots over Owen but then Carruthers pulled 10 of those shots back against Toster. Hall could see the margin & closed on it late as they took Ward by 6shots which is no easy feat by any side playing Ward at home. This left Triffitt & Freeman to fight it out for the big win as both sides were all square across the board but nothing could separate the last rink as it finished 82-82 & the biscuits were shared with The Bay getting a few extra crumbs in the draw to bring 4.5pts back down the Kwinana.
Cracking game of bowls by both sides so credit to all as The Bay fire one right across the bow of 1 White.
Geoffrey Hinge 24 v Michael Erceg 17
Lindsay Hill 23 v Travis Lynch 23
Brian Ledingham 16 v Rodney Revell 20
Jon Borkowski 16 v Eugene O'Sullivan 22
We did think this was going to the wire & didn't it go close in the end. Only 3 shots separating both sides after 84 thrilling ends. Warick & Basso needed this one equally so it's fitting that it went to the wire as both side understand the importance of early points on the board after last year.
Hinge started well by pushing out late on against Erceg to win by 7 shots & Hill & Lynch just couldn't be separated after sharing the spoils of a 46 shot match in a high scoring encounter, where Hill will be kicking himself in a game they probably should have won. The difference started to show as Rocket got Ledingham by 4 shots & similar for O'Sullivan as they pushed past Borkowski by 6 shots. Needless to say when the Magpies drop the Ledingham & Borkowski rink it does make it significantly hard to recover the Agg.
Overall what looks like a standard R3 result could possibly count for a lot more come the corresponding fixture as many of the games are getting flipped on their heads so any points are good points over the coming 4-5 Rounds as the ladder finds some balance.
Christopher Parr 18 v Scott Edmonds 26
Rohan Cantrill 19 v Dale Marsland 19
Martin Hinchcliffe 34 v Mitchell Cranswick 14
John Berecz 20 v Cameron Hoffman 18
Unsure if this isn't indeed the upset of the Round. Upon further reflection of The Bay's performance is easy enough to frank the form so yes this is definitely the upset of the Round. Yes Quinns needed this result as 2 losses at home would put them well behind the 8 ball coming into a tough stretch so they realised that & responded, which is great to see & quite admirable. Unsure if the Quinns boys got down to Crown for the current 'we will ROCK you' gig but either way well done Quinns Rocks on a great result (#wewillrockyou)
The reality is, and I'm forward guessing here somewhat but, I don't see Mossies losing more than 6 games this year. Although I would of said 3-4 games at the start of the season but after dropping 2 from 3 & wanting the grand return to the PL means they'll probably have to drop 1 more game for the rest of the season to absolutely guarantee that status they think they desire. If anything has taught us over the mere 3 Rounds so far is this is Russian Roulette madness like no other over the years. There's sides across any position on the ladder taking points left right & centre.
Yes Quinns are 9th but only 1 pt & a good Agg win off 6th so massive win for them & hopefully a springboard to launch their season. The Mossies are sitting 8th (I had to double check the ladder to confirm that!!) & it really makes no difference how you slice the cake they are sitting on the wrong side of a big portion. Early days but the paper names need paper results, pretty promptly & I genuinely believe they will deliver in spades later on as they got dealt a horrid draw & that's hard to rebalance until R7 or R8 so watch out for the Mossies coming early next year because no doubt like any determined Mossie, they will eventually bite you.