Round 2 was held at Gawler in fine and sunny conditions. There were a lot of close games and no team escaped without at least one loss. But it was also notable for a couple of other reasons…
Historically, the Gawler venue has not been a happy hunting ground for the usually formidable Eastern Suburbs club. In July 2008, an ESP team1 took home Interclub gold as joint winners with an Adelaide team2. That was 15 years ago. ESP were the premier club at the time and they won every round that season.3 Subsequently, they have won 9 more pennants and they have taken the gold medals at 45 of the 88 rounds played since that date. That’s a pretty good record, to put it mildly. But at Gawler, it’s been a different story.
In the past 15 rounds played at Gawler, the winners have come from FAB, Adelaide Hills & Novar Gardens (once each), Gawler & Prospect (twice each) and Adelaide (8 times). This list includes every club in the competition except one. Over the same period, ESP only managed to get a team in second or third on just four occasions. It’s no wonder that some of the other clubs had come to see the Gawler round as their chance, each season, to gain some ground.
This year, however, that all changed rather dramatically. Not only did Eastern Suburbs win the round, they went the whole hog and filled the entire podium! Congratulations to Vincent Bulone, Ha Nguyen & Van Nguyen (their second gold medals out of two rounds this season), Deb Rodda, Ray Drummond & Craig Stewart (silver) and Dave Ward, Haejung Jang & Peter Masri (bronze).
Irrespective of the venue, one club winning the trifecta of gold, silver and bronze is a rare feat in its own right. The last time it was achieved was in 2019. On that occasion it was also three ESP teams who pulled it off. That was just four years ago but, interestingly, only two of the nine players involved were the same. The trifecta has been recorded six times in the modern era (since 2007). This one brings the tally up to three each for ESP and Adelaide.
Going forward, this result has obviously given ESP a sizeable lead on the premiership ladder – somewhat ominous so early in the season. Club d’Adelaide also put in a strong showing and have jumped into a clear second place, with a fifteen point buffer ahead of Novar Gardens and Adelaide Hills, who are now tied for third.
Thanks to the umpires and to all the Gawler members, friends and family who worked together to keep everything running very smoothly.
- (Alexi, George & Arwed)
- (Tina, Louis & Jean-Paul)
- 2008: That was the same year that Ken Maski and Suki Vaswani won four rounds in a row – another record that has never been matched but might soon be under threat.
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