Attendance records continue to tumble for the SAPL Interclub competition, with thirtyteams competing in Round 4. This is not the highest number ever, but the last time we had this many the scores were being written with a quill dipped in ink.
The conditions were unseasonably cool for January and Stirling’s reputation for always raining on a League day was reinforced once again. However, this time it was just right — the precipitation was so light and so sporadic that it was barely felt, yet it was enough to dampen down the dust from the previously parched dolomite. The timing was also perfect, as it was only an hour or two after the proceedings ended that steady rain set in, bringing (a very welcome) 30mm or so to the area overnight.
The competition was once again unpredictable and very tight, as it has been all season, and this is illustrated by the following observation: Only two teams were able to win both of their games after lunch and only two teams lost them both. This is quite remarkable considering that the system used dictates there is always at least one of each (the team finishing first must win them both while the last-placed team must have two losses). Of the other twenty-eight teams, twenty-six of them registered one win and one loss!
Taking out the honours for the day was the in-form Adelaide Hills trio of Brian Tuckfield, Ralph Foster & Anthony Pietsch, proving in the most emphatic way that their Round 3 victory was no fluke. They are starting to get a reputation for clawing their way over the line when it matters most. In the silver medal position was the Prospect team of Janet Jenkin, Michael Frodyma & Martin Verdonk. This maintains Marty’s average at better than one League medal per season over a long periood of time whereas, surprisingly perhaps, it’s a first for Janet and Michael. Congratulations. The bronze medallists were Selina Dally, Ray Drummond & Craig Stewart, from Eastern Suburbs.
In terms of the championship, it was largely a case of steady-as-you-go on this occasion. There were no changes in ladder position, merely some adjustments to the respective margins. The biggest points haul went to Adelaide Hills, bringing them within 6 points of the League leaders and hot favourites, ESP. Adelaide maintained their buffer ahead of fourth-placed Prospect, while Prospect put some breathing space between themselves and Novar Gardens, who in turn did enough to keep in touch with the main pack and move clear of those below them.
In response to this year’s disastrous fire season, the host club decided to support the CFS Foundation, helping SA firefighters who suffer injury or loss as a result of their service. The raffle takings and other donations were matched by the club, raising a total of over $1400. Thanks to all who gave so generously.
Thanks also to the umpires, officials, and to all the enthusiastic volunteers from the Adelaide Hills club who once again turned on a first-rate show.