The penultimate SAPL 2020-2021 Interclub round was held at Prospect in fine and sunny conditions.
Yet again, the weather was about as good as it gets for the time of year. As usual, the social atmosphere was also warm and friendly. However, looking at the results, the competition itself did not stick to the normal script. This time, the usual stars had to make way for some new faces. In fact, there were maiden winners on each of the three steps of the winners’ podium.
The gold medal match was one that will be remembered by those involved for years to come. (A bit like the 2019 State Triples final.) It featured the highly credentialed Eastern Suburbs team of Alexi Alexi, Craig Stewart & Maurice Belz, with seven gold medals between them from this season alone, pitted against a new combination from Adelaide Hills made up of Ralph Foster, Anthony Pietsch & Dirk Seret.
Having powered to a 12-0 lead in just three ends, the ESP team could have been forgiven for thinking that they had the game in the bag. Their opponents were going down without a whimper. However, as it turned out, they did have a whimper or two left in them after all. The indomitable Hills trio finally managed to graft out a point, and thus gain control of the jack. From there, they gradually pegged their way back into contention. Momentum in sport is a funny thing – it can suddenly swing from one side to the other and then sometimes it’s hard to shift it back again. To cut a long story short, it was the Hills team who prevailed in an all-time classic execution of the old ‘lull-them-into-a-false-sense-of-security’ strategy. It never fails – especially if you throw in a good dose of the ‘stuck-on-twelve’ factor as well.
Special congratulations must go to Dirk Seret for his role in this stunning victory. A newcomer to the game, he has picked up a gold medal in just his second Interclub appearance. Remarkably, the second placed team, comprising Penny Lyons, Steve Hambour & John Black, also featured a new player. They earned some much-needed club points for FAB and a silver medal for John Black on his League debut. Well done.
The bronze medal match was an all-Hills affair. The club points were assured, but there was still the question of bragging rights back at the club to be settled. This turned into an epic encounter and in the end it was Mike Read, Peter Davies & Brian Tuckfield who narrowly took the honours – a good follow-up to their strong performance at the Easter Nationals. Congrats to Pete Davies for his first League medal.
After something of a shake-up to the premiership table in Round 4, this round effected a reversal of the gains made. Not surprisingly, Adelaide Hills were the big winners this time with possibly their best result ever and a near-maximum haul of 51 championship points. This lifts them back ahead of Prospect into third place, with a healthy buffer, and they’re now within striking distance of second-placed Club d’Adelaide. The other movers were FAB, who have regained fifth place from Novar Gardens. Meanwhile, despite a less-than-stratospheric result for ESP on this occasion, they did enough to all but secure the championship, with one round still to go.
Thanks to the umpires and to the Prospect club for hosting and putting on a first-rate lunch.
Download full reports (PDF) :