The new season opened in fine, if somewhat chilly, conditions. As usual for the first round of the season, everyone starts on an equal footing. There are no seedings, no pools, no finals and no ‘snakes and ladders’. Instead, it’s just a simple five game draw with placings decided by wins and points – a random format that often throws up a few surprises. This occasion was no exception, with none of the usual suspects making it to the podium positions and a number of personal best results being recorded by their replacements.
Winners on the day were Greg, Brian & another bloke, from the Adelaide Hills club, taking the honours after a hard-fought one point win in the last game. For Adelaide Hills, this was their first outright win in more than four years. For Brian and the other bloke, it was their first.
In second place, Jenny, Sandy & Dee, from ESP, were unlucky to miss out by just a solitary point, having also gone through the day undefeated. Nevertheless, Sandy’s silver medal was a personal best in league competition, for Jenny it was an equal PB, whilst Dee collected her first league medal.
The third-placed team of Grant, Dick and Ana, from Prospect, also deserves a mention. In particular, Ana achieved the distinction of taking home a medal in her very first league appearance. For Dick, it was also his first podium finish. Well done to all the place-getters.
From a club perspective, the results were remarkably even. In fact, each of the seven clubs finished with a team in the top eight! This has never happened before in the history of the competition and stands in contrast to several recent rounds that were totally dominated by just three clubs.
Not surprisingly, then, the premiership table after Round 1 is also a little different to usual. Eastern Suburbs are in top spot, a position they once monopolized but have not held since their come-from-behind win three seasons ago. In second are Adelaide Hills — one has to go back even further to find the last time that was the case — while Prospect are third.
Anthony Pietsch, Tournament Director