It was a case of ‘third time lucky’. After two cancellations due to extreme heat, the Gawler club finally got the chance to host what was supposed to be Round 3, but turned out to be Round 4. This time around, the concern was more about getting too wet rather than getting too hot, but our luck held. The forecast thunderstorms did not eventuate and the only substantial shower of rain was conveniently timed during the luncheon interval.
Unfortunately, the improvised timing of this event — on a long weekend, in a period when Adelaide is abuzz with other attractions — meant there was a smaller than usual field of teams competing. However, with the regular number of championship points still up for grabs, this provided more opportunities for those who did attend.
Visiting players were very impressed with the new structures that have gone up since we were last at Gawler. A large verandah and generous shelters between the playing areas now provide covered areas for al fresco dining and, when required, a handy refuge from the sun or the rain. These developments add further amenity to what was already a very pleasant and attractive venue.
On the pistes, it was Club d’Adelaide who dominated this round, with their three teams all finishing in the top five. In particular, going home with an IOU (oops) for a gold medal, was their experienced trio of Tony Stojsic, Louis Oltarczy and Jean-Paul Bouyer. Well done guys.
On the championship ladder, the top three placings have not changed since Round 1. In this round, ESP did enough to maintain their hold on the top spot, but second-placed Adelaide reduced the deficit and are now well within striking range, while Prospect tightened their grip on third. But it’s in the lower half of the table that things are really hotting up…
The Gawler club have struggled to find players so far this season, but, with the home ground advantage in this round, they’ve finally got some runs on the board. Even without their gun shooter (busy celebrating his 21st), they managed to get both of their teams in the top ten, earning a total of fifteen championship points. This was enough to lift them from last to equal fourth.
At the same time, the new Adelaide Hills team also progressed. Improving on their sterling debut effort, two weeks ago, they added another nine points and have also climbed to equal fourth.
Unfortunately, FAB and Port Noarlunga were both unrepresented and, of course, a stationary object makes an easy target. Prior to this round, they were already tied for fourth place on fifteen points. Now they have company.
So, in summary, the battle for the ‘minor premiership’ is set up perfectly for an exciting finish, with the four clubs all heading into the last two rounds on an equal footing. Who will prevail?