Glorious spring weather, delicious food, some tight games, some thumpings and, most importantly, lots of fun. The third Interclub round had it all, and an excellent turn-out of twenty-three teams were at the Club d’Adelaide to make the most of it. Players were kept on their toes by subtle changes in the playing surface over the course of the day, as the moisture from some overnight rain dried out in the warm sun.
The major honours for the day went to the highly experienced trio of Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz. This was Maurice’s first appearance in the Interclub competition since relocating to Adelaide from NZ. By taking out the gold, undefeated, and demonstrating some awesome skills along the way, he certainly made his presence felt and sent a warning to the rest of the competition.
The silver medallists were Louis Oltarczy, Jean-Paul Bouyer & Tony Stojsic, who maintained the fine form they showed all last season. Through a quirk of the draw, this was one of the rare occasions where a second team gets through the day undefeated. Despite winning all three preliminary games, they only qualified third in their pool which denied them a shot at the gold, but they made the best of their situation after that.
The tournament structure we use for the Interclub has been designed to deal with anomalous situations such as we saw here, where most of the strongest contenders happen to find themselves grouped together on the same side of the draw. Players sometimes think it odd that the losers of the gold medal match in the fifth round are only awarded third place, rather than second as you would expect with most conventional formats. This set of circumstances provides a clear example of why the silver medal match is for the silver medal.
At the half-way point of the season, the top half of the premiership table is starting to show a definite trend. In Round 3, the top four teams all increased their margin over the teams below them, but lost ground to the teams above them. In particular, Eastern Suburbs have opened up a sizable lead at the top of the table and will take some catching from here.
The battle for fifth place, on the other hand, is still being hotly contested. FAB have now gained the ascendancy, being rewarded for managing to field two teams in this round. They move three points ahead of Novar Gardens who, despite a day they may wish to forget, remain in front of Gawler who had a similarly unrewarding day.
Thanks to all who participated, to the umpires and to the host club.
Gold Medalists – Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz
Silver Medalists – Louis Oltarczy, Jean-Paul Bouyer & Tony Stojsic
Bronze Medalists – Tory McBride, Lionel Pujol & Dave Ward