ELEVEN rounds into the Central Wimmera Tennis Association pennant competition and it is St Michael’s who look to be on their way to a third successive premiership.
The competition is currently on a summer break and will return on February 3.
St Michael’s sit comfortably on top of the competition’s ladder and have rarely been challenged so far this season.
With 11 wins from as many matches, the team are favourites for the title.
They are three matches ahead of their closest rivals, Drung South.
So far this season, St Michael’s’ women’s side have been prolific. Led by Steffi and Jess McDonald, who are both yet to lose a set this season, the women’s side has helped propel St Michael’s to wins in every match.
Their men’s side have proven to be the weakest link for the team, but with the firepower of the McDonald sisters their women’s side has gone from strength to strength. St Michael’s will be confident of completing the season undefeated as they surge towards the finals series.
Drung South looks to be the only team who can push the reigning champions, taking six sets off of the ladder leaders in both of their encounters this season.
The two teams will meet again in round 13 on February 10 in what could be a precursor to the grand final.
Haven find themselves in third place and were well on their way to a top two finish after the first six weeks of tennis.
However, a host of losses has left the side with some catching up to do on the top two teams.
A loss to St Michael’s before the break, a thrilling five-game loss to Drung South and a shock defeat at the hands of Kalkee have put Haven five matches behind St Michael’s and two matches behind Drung South.
They will be hoping to return to their early season form when they return to competition against Natimuk in round 12.
Kalkee sit fourth in the competition, just one match behind Haven.
Kalkee have shown they can match it with the top teams this year, having defeated Haven and pushing Drung South back in round three.
They have struggled when matched up against St Michael’s but have shown plenty of promise so far this season, especially when they have fielded their strongest team.
They will be hoping to cause an upset come finals time if they can continue to win a few matches and cement their place in the top four when competition resumes.
Horsham Lawn and Natimuk sit fifth and sixth respectively and have had challenging seasons.
Lawn has registered two victories thus far, both coming against Natimuk in rounds five and 10 respectively.
Natimuk earned a victory back in round one against Kalkee, but it has been tough going for the side since then.
They will still be searching for their second win of the season when the competition continues in February.
Five rounds remain in the regular season before finals start on March 10.
Round 12 Fixture – February 3
Horsham Lawn v St Michael’s, Natimuk v Haven, Kalkee v Drung South.