Round 5 was played at Club d’Adelaide in slightly damp conditions. However, the intermittent showers were so light that they had little impact on either the terrain or the players. There was no wind and the temperature was comfortable.
This was a round where experience rose to the fore as three highly credentialed teams from three different clubs took their place on the podium. The bronze medallists were Rada Pierre, Alain Rousse & Dominique Pierre, from Adelaide. In second place were Prospect’s Melissa Scott, Ha Nguyen & Van Nguyen. On the top step were Alexi Alexi, Iskender (Ken) Maski & Craig Stewart, for Eastern Suburbs. All of these players have been in this position before, but one deserves a special mention.
This occasion was a welcome return to Interclub for Ken Maski, whose legendary exploits would be unfamiliar to many of our newer players. Having returned after living abroad for some years, it was a case of taking up where he left off. His last appearance was in the final round of the 2014/15 season and on that day he also took home a gold medal.
In the years prior, Ken notched up some awesome achievements in the Interclub competition. For example, in the 2011/12 season, playing with various teammates, he recorded top-two finishes in five of the six rounds. No-one else has matched that, before or since. Even more impressively, he also holds another unique record in winning ten gold medals in the space of fifteen rounds, spanning 2007-2010. This included two streaks of three in a row and one of four in a row. Winning four in a row was, in itself, something that has never been repeated. He’s up to two in a row now, so the message to the rest of us is: “watch out”.
Getting back to the present season, it’s fair to say that things are really hotting up. In racing parlance, the leading pack have bunched up ready for the final sprint. To put it another way, the margin between first and fifth place has reduced from 42 to 21 points.
Coming into this round, Novar Gardens had a healthy buffer at the top of the table. They lost some ground this time, but still did enough to hang on to top spot. Prospect sit six points behind, having climbed to second, with ESP a further two points adrift in third. From there, it’s a four point margin to Adelaide Hills and another nine points to fifth-placed Adelaide. So, the championship is still anybody’s and there will be everything to play for in the final round, coming up in May. It should be an exciting climax to a season that has been very competitive all the way through.
Thanks to the umpires and to Club d’Adelaide for hosting the event.
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