It has been a topsy-turvy year with COVID this year but ironically, after completing one out of our usual 3 seasons, we end with a record number of fixture players (I believe this to be true but don’t have all the info to be sure) in 3 grades and a very exciting final series looming this Tuesday (Dec 1).
In DIVISION 1, the 2 leading teams Irish Dancing (26 season wins out of 28) and Line Dancing (21 wins) left the opposition in their wake. Last week there were 4 teams (Jazz in 3rd on 13 wins, Ballroom in 4th on 12 wins, Tap in 5th on 11 wins and Highland in 6th on 11 wins) which could potentially fill the remaining 2 spots. But it was Highland with 2 wins on the night which jumped from 6th to grab the 4th spot by only one match.
For Mark Bagwshawe it ends a remarkable line of 4 grand final appearances in the last 4 seasons. Indeed it could have been 5 seasons as his team, Snakes, (Mark + Alan Bruhn) was leading the Summer 2020 season after 20 rounds when COVID cruelly closed shop on March 21.
One would think that either Irish Dancing (Jerrod Thompson, Martin Tribe) or Line Dancing (Roger Gore, Michael Wilson) would surely take the crown. But there are a few spanners in the works. Firstly Jerrod Thomson who is in top form winning 4 of his last 6 matches is in doubt for the final and there are strict rules about any replacement. Secondly Highland (Alan Bruhn, Lina Yap) have convincingly won their last 4 rubbers and are definitely in form and who can discount Jazz (Paul Green, Jin Jang). Any team with Paul Green at the helm can never be crossed out. Paul, as everyone would concede, has been the club’s top player over many many years.
The semis for Div 2 were held last week with Snickers (Jonas Campbell, Jim Kyle, Brian Cavanagh) overcoming the minor premiers, Picnic (Mike Rogers, Sharon Matherson and Judy Chin), 6-5. It was Jim Kyle who was the difference on the night winning 2 of his 3 singles and his doubles.
In the 2nd Semi, Chokito (Bruce Taylor, David Harkins and Akash Mehta) defeated a very determined Bounty ( Danny Yeung, Russell Treloar and Judy Zhang) 6-4
I think that Chokito has too much depth but Snickers appears the more composed team. So on the night it might be FORM up against POISE.
To my knowledge this is the first season we have had a 3rd division. Long term players might enlighten me on this. To my mind, it has been a very successful competition. Sure the teams are not exactly even. But, as the form of many of the new players was uncertain, this can be easily forgiven. Besides, as we all know, it is not about winning. There has been some great matches and it is great to see 2 of our up-and-coming juniors, Archie Close and Sreenivas Permulla, playing well. Indeed Archie ended up on top of the rankings, albeit passing Craig Cowan on the last night in Craig’s absence.
The line-up is as follows:-
Semi 1 Leopards (Craig Cowan, Kathy Oakley) v Lynx (Kerrod Holzheimer, Isaac Barwick)
I think the line up of new gun, Craig Cowan, with the long term experience of Kathy Oakley and cheersquad, Ian Oakley, will be too good for the very likeable, Isaac Barwick, and Kerrod Holzheimer. However there is talk of Kerrod being away and Isaac’s brother, Andrew, being a possible replacement. So never discount the power and teamwork of a brothers’ team.
Semi 2 Tigers (Eric Fragenheim, Sue Sullivan) v Panthers (Archie Close, Heather Dunlevie)
All 4 players are quite capable. Eric has some unreal attacking shots, Sue is very persistent, Archie is on top of the rankings, and this year’s Presidents Trophy winner, Heather, has heaps of experience and some great scalps this season. Not to mention some great serves. Needless to say, it could go either way. But wouldn’t it be fascinating if it was 2all and the last match was between mother (Sue) and son (Archie)!! A real possibility. They have played 3 times this season with all 3 going to 5.