The penultimate SAPL Interclub round was held at Prospect with 29 teams in attendance. The weather was surprisingly pleasant – cool but fine with plenty of nice sunshine. After some ominous forecasts in the days leading up, we were fortunate that the approaching big storm waited until the evening before it hit.
The championship race has been very tight up to this point, with five clubs all jostling for the top positions. On this occasion, it was Eastern Suburbs who seized the initiative. With three teams finishing in the top six, the club has pulled away from the chasing pack and opened up a commanding lead at the top of the table. While not impossible, it would take something special from another club to catch them from here, with one round to go.
Doing the heavy lifting for ESP were Deb Rodda, Ray Drummond & Lionel Pujol, in the bronze medal position, and Arwed Turon, Craig Stewart & Raja Jamaleddine, who took out the top honours on the day. That makes two gold medals for Arwed, out of the four rounds played this season, and a third for Craig. In fact, it was Craig’s third win in a row if you discount the one round when he wasn’t there – an outstanding achievement.
As for Raja, it was simply a matter of taking up where he left off. Like Craig, this was also Raja’s third Interclub gold in a row. That news may come as a surprise to some – particularly to those who are relatively new on the scene – but that would be because his last previous appearance in the competition was five years ago, in June, 2017. Prior to that, Raja had established a League record that was nothing short of awesome, so it’s great for our competition to have him back.
The silver medallists were Gavin Scott, Ha Nguyen & Van Nguyen, from Prospect. This was an auspicious Interclub debut for Ha, and the resultant points have given their club a boost on the ladder. Moving from fourth to second, Prospect are now the best placed of the contenders to challenge ESP for the championship. Also still in with an outside chance, and tied in third place, are Adelaide Hills and Club d’Adelaide.
Thanks to the Prospect club for hosting and to the volunteers who gave up their day to make it another successful and enjoyable event.
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