The new Interclub season started much the same as the last one finished. Not only was the venue the same, but once again we had remarkably nice weather, a huge turnout (99 players – another new record), great competition and a very convivial atmosphere, despite the COVID-Safe requirements.
Once again, this was helped along by the innovative and popular new timing regulation arrangement, which maximises playing time and minimises waiting time, while providing the relaxed ambience of untimed games without the frustrating delays and late finishes that often come with an untimed format. We thank PFA for allowing this arrangement to continue despite opposition from certain quarters.
On the premiership table, after one round, things also look a lot like they did at the end of last season. The top three clubs have all taken up where they left off, the same two clubs are closely vying for fourth position and the battle for sixth is once again very tight.
In terms of the individual honours, on the other hand, the day’s results were more in keeping with previous seasons rather than the last. The winners, ESP’s Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz, had a relatively lean time of it last season — by their own lofty standards — picking up just one gold medal between them (compared to eight the year before). The silver medallists, Deb Rodda, Selina Dally & Wendy Bensen, also emulated a feat they achieved twice in the 2018/19 season. In the bronze medal position was the Adelaide Hills trio of Greg Anderson, Ross Coleman & Quentin Jones, their first appearance on the podium since 2017/18.
Finally, a big thank-you goes to the awesome Novar Gardens crew who once again kept things running like clockwork under difficult circumstances. Your friendly efficiency sets a standard the rest of us can aspire to. Well done.
Round 1 is also the time that individual awards are presented to the most successful players from the season just completed…
The ‘Best Player’ medal went to Selina Dally, who only played in four of the five rounds but never finished lower than 4th in any of them. Selina is a truly outstanding player and has been a consistent performer over many years. This award is thoroughly deserved.
For the second year in a row, the award for ‘Best Player of the Other Gender’ went to a man, this time Maurice Belz — another highly decorated player and out-and- out star. Maurice finished second overall (also from four rounds), trailing by a margin of just one point. Not too “lean” a season, then (only in terms of gold).
The award for ‘Best Veteran’ (Over 60) went to Brian Tuckfield, from the Adelaide Hills club, largely on the strength of consecutive gold-medal-winning performances in Rounds 3 and 4. Brian also finished equal third, overall.
The ‘Best New Player’ was Bruce Lucas, who has quickly established himself as a key member of the new guard at Novar Gardens. Bruce was a clear winner in this category and his very consistent season included a podium finish in Round 2.
Congratulations to all the award winners.
For those that may be interested, the individual points table will be posted on the SAPL website.