Last week saw the completion of round 14 matches in both grades, meaning there is only the fifteenth and final round to be played before sudden death finals matches commence. Positions are important too, as there are no preliminary finals in the competition grades. Losers go home to prepare for next season and winners advance to the season deciders.
In A-Grade, Deltones defeated Bandits by 57 games (seven winning sets) to 37 games (one winning set).
Glen Bradley was borrowed from Wonkey Donkeys and Mick Craig made his night tennis debut with the Bandits men both being laid low with dental ailments.
Super Shots were pushed all the way by Matadors in the other A-Grade encounter, finally emerging victorious by 42 games (three) to 41 games (two).
This win extended Super Shots’ unbeaten run to fourteen games, something that has not happened in recent memory.
With Quinn Rooney unavailable due to work commitments and Charan Singh having returned to Melbourne, Andrew Widdison was recruited by the winning captain, Colin Rooney to fill the void which he did with some aplomb, on top in two sets despite an injured shoulder.
Super Shots now lead A-Grade by 34 points. Deltones and Matadors are equal on 22 points with Bandits languishing in fourth position with 12 points.
Undoubtedly, the highlight in the B-Grade schedule from last week was the draw between Carabost Tigers and Unmatchables at 60 games to each team. There were five sets on the night where the participants could not be separated with Carabost Tigers winning two sets to Unmatchables’ one in the remainder.
This was the first points for the Tigers other than from washouts for the season so to say that Jordan Hobbs, Richard Daniel, Katie Waters and Renea Hobbs were excited would probably be an understatement to say the least.
Burra Rabbits defeated Bench Warmers by 57 games (four) to 49 games (three) to keep their finals’ hopes alive whilst at the same time doing damage to the hopes of their opponents. Bench Warmers have the bye in the final round of matches and will be anxiously watching the results in that round.
Wonkey Donkeys also didn’t do themselves any favours with their loss to the leaders, 20-20, going down 57 games (six) to 42 games (one).
They will also be watching the results in the last round of regular matches with some apprehension.
The final B-Grade match from last week was a close affair with GOATS prevailing by 56 games to 54 games against Furry Balls.
Both teams were on top in three sets with the remaining two sets being halved.
Holly Giddings was a starter for GOATS in her debut in the night competition. Furry Balls may live to rue this loss at such a critical time in the season. Despite the win, GOATS cannot make the finals although they can spoil the Burra Rabbits party when these teams meet this week.
20-20 are the leaders in B-Grade on 42 points, eight points clear of Gooliwangs on 34 points. Bench Warmers are third with 30 and Wonkey Donkeys occupy fourth position on 28. Furry Balls and Burra Rabbits each have 26, GOATS 20, Unmatchables 12 and Carabost Tigers 6.
With Super Shots winning last Monday night against Bandits, the match between Deltones and Matadors will not affect the A-Grade matchups in the first week of the finals.
B-Grade is a different proposition, however with the Wonkey Donkeys/Gooliwangs and Burra Rabbits/GOATS matches to be played on Tuesday of this week having the potential to influence the composition of the finals, depending on results.
The team with the most to fear is probably Wonkey Donkeys as a loss, coupled with a Burra Rabbits win, will see them miss the finals.