Bowls North Thursday Pennant Update
With only four rounds to go we take a close look at the Bowls North Thursday Pennant competition, report on by Courtney Hobbs. With four rounds to go in the Thursday pennant competition there are a number of clubs pushing for a strong finals presence. The North faired well in State finals last year with the top 3 Divisions earning bragging rights at the State Pennant finals and will be no doubt looking to match this again.
Invermay sit at the top of the table in the top Division 1 with only 2 losses for the year. The experienced team would be favourites to make yet another finals campaign. The Swampies have really made a name for themselves over the last few seasons and are no doubt aiming to retain their position in first. They do have to play second placed team Kings Meadows in the penultimate game for the year, which could determine the finishing order at the end of the season. Kings Meadows have shown the depth of their club and their ability to win when needed this year, and with only 1 of their remaining games against a top four club they will be looking to maximize their point tally. At the other end of the leaderboard two country clubs are battling it out to retain their place in the top Division. Exeter is only 11 points clear of Deloraine, who are sitting tenth after only 2 wins for the season to date. The two teams play each other in the final round for the year and it could mean all the difference for either club if they can secure maximum points in round 18.
Three teams in Division 2 are in the race for promotion in the tightest ladder in the competition, with top three separated by only 2 points. Every rink win is important from this point forward for Cosgrove, Longford and Westbury who are first to third, respectively. Cosgrove have been heading towards Division 1 for a few seasons now and would be disappointed not to earn promotion after winning the Northern and State Pennant finals last season, but failing to finish in first position after the home and away season was completed. If Longford can win their away games against both Cosgrove in round 16 and Westbury in Round 18 then they will be a big chance at promotion.
Longford and Westbury are also fighting it out for promotion in Division 3 and what a year it could be for either club if they can get both Division 2 and Division 3 teams promoted. Longford need to get an overall win at Westbury this coming week to create a 2 game break at the top of the table but Westbury can easily get back within one game if they can get a solid home win. At this point relegation is looming for Launceston but with four games to go there is still a chance they can rally late for some much needed overall wins.
Lilydale are the clear leaders in Division four this year and are currently undefeated and 2 games clear in first position. The four is however strongly contested and teams as low as eighth are still a chance of making finals. Country clubs are holding their own in Division 4 with Lilydale, Bridport, George Town, Beauty Point and Longford all in contention of a top four finish.