On another beautiful Monday morning, last week's Midweek Pennant Division 1 saw significant wins to teams playing opponents higher on the ladder.
So, all teams are well and truly in contention for a finals spot after the first full round of matches.
Nhill 1 played three tight rinks against Dimboola 1, but won them all, by three, one and four shots for an eight shot win overall.
It looks like Sunnyside 1 couldn't handle the Kaniva greens, as so many visiting sides struggle to do, and Kaniva took home wins on two rinks. The 29 margin on the van Kempen- Janetzki rink was the main driver of a 30 shot win to Kaniva.
Coughlin Park 1 keep rolling on. An 11 shot win over Horsham City 1 sees them sitting in second spot. In the AFL they talk about eight point games, this was a 20 point game. A loss would have seen the Parkers back second bottom, but now they will host Dimboola for a top of the table showdown this week.
If they had a rivalry round in Division 1 Midweek this would be it. Other matches in Round Six see a clash of the North West when Nhill 1 travel to Kaniva 1, and City 1 will head across to face Sunnyside 1.
Midweek Division 2 sees Serviceton in clear air on top. With 64 points they are 22 points ahead of Natimuk and Coughlin Park 3, but there are six sides who seem capable of filling the bottom three spots in the top four.
A 57 shot win for Serviceton over Goroke got a big kick along from a 50 shot win by the Tink, Miles, Miles and Thomson four from Serviceton.
Fourth placed Horsham City 2 had a 22 shot win over second ranked Natimuk, and the two Coughlin Park teams both got wins over Sunnyside 2 and Edenhope.
For any people who read this column, but wonder about the scoring system that decides ladder positions and who wins, I will try and briefly outline what happens.
Matches are decided by the total number of shots won. You get a shot for every bowl you have on each end that is closer to the Jack than any of the opposition's bowls. In most matches 25 ends are played, but in some lower grades 21 ends comprise a match. The team with the most shots wins, and the winner gets 10 match points, just as the winner in AFL gets four points.
So for example Team A plays Team B and the scores on the three rinks are 20-25, 25-15 and 24-25, Team A would win 69-65, but for each rink win two points are allocated so Team B would take home four points for their efforts. When things are tallied up for the ladder Team A would get 12 points and Team B four points.
Now that is probably about as clear as mud, and you are probably wondering why I have bothered. Well with some Sunday matches meaning results wouldn't be in until Monday, and knowing I was going to a clearing sale at Wombelano, I thought I might need to pad things out a bit. Well I'm home again, I've been to the land of milk and honey, things are looking pretty good out there and I'd better get back to the bowls.
In Division 1 Weekend Pennant, the four top sides played teams from the bottom four and all prevailed over their lower ranked opponents on a tropical Saturday and windy Sunday. Dimboola 1 and Horsham Golf 1 was a 12 shot win to Dimboola and the closest game of the round, Sunnyside 1 had a 24 shot victory over Coughlin Park. This means there is a bit of a break opening up between Sunnyside in fourth and fifth and sixth placed Golf and Coughlin Park. Horsham City 1 and Nhill 1 didn't drop a rink in their wins over Kaniva 1 and Coughlin Park 2.
This Saturday Dimboola 1 will host City 1 in possibly the match of the season. No one knows who will play who until the team managers turn the cards over, but a clash of the rinks skipped by two of the associations most accomplished leaders, City's Daniel Gloury and Dimboola's Geoff Gazelle, would be interesting. Both sides have lots of strong bowlers and rinks who combine well. Nhill 1 are at home to Kaniva 1, Golf 1 will host Sunnyside 1 and the Coughlin Park 1 and 2 sides will square off in what will be a day of banter and good bar sales.
The Nhill club are riding the crest of a wave, on top in Division 1 and Division 2, their Division 2 side knocked over Edenhope 1, admittedly on the northern side of the Desert. But a 10 shot win to Col Pryor and his rink, and Jeff Fritsch skipping his team home against the Bruce Ackland four saw the northerners 24 shots in front at the end.
Dave Ackland flew the flag for the family when he was the only Coughlin Park 3 skip to get a win against City 2. The City 2 skips Stuart Landwehr and Billy Hogan both had double figure wins on their rinks to post a 19 shot win overall.
Natimuk got in by five shots over Dimboola 2, Bob Pritchett up by one, Ron Pannan down by one to Peter Ross, but "Charlie" Browns five shot win over Cliff Ungers team was the decider. Sunnyside 3 got up by 11 over Goroke down in the land of the magpie, two rinks to Goroke, one shot wins to the McEachren and Lowe rinks for Goroke, but John Brown up by 11 over Polly Robinson. Golf 2 are right in touch with the four after their four shot win over Sunnyside 2, the Siders got two rink wins but as we talk about so often that one big win to Golfs Craig Bennett got them the 10 points.
In Weekend Division 3, it's still all Horsham City 3 and 4 up the top, but Sunnyside 5 are right in touch with the Sunnyside 4 side who are sitting fourth, and other winners were Nhill 3, Coughlin Park 4 and Golf 3 and Sunnyside 4 played a draw.