I arrived early at the Lion’s Den to be involved in the set up going into the biggest day of the year. There had been two mls of rain overnight and the greens staff were busy preparing the surfaces for what promised to be a day filled with action. In the Premier League Club Holdfast were to play West Lakes having beaten the Lakers on day one winning all four rinks in a big performance. West Lakes played at home on the previous Sunday and did enough to force its way back into contention. I knew that the green would be littered with class and brilliance in both camps and prior to arriving I had picked five players from the two clubs and the State games they had played. Over the journey, Ashley Klose, Mark Haines, Max Kleinig, Craig Mills and Matt Northcott between them had played 631 times for SA meaning that they had been involved as teammates many more times than as combatants. Those facts mattered little in a Grand Final but there was plenty of respect between them.
Things were looking good but prior to the teams arriving steady rain settled in taking the polish off the greens. The greens staff worked solidly up until the last minute to give the best surfaces possible the rain ceased and the teams walked onto the greens in sunshine.
Club Holdfast v West Lakes:
What eventuated was a 112-89 win for Club Holdfast which won on three of the four rinks played. There were times in the middle stages when the Lakers hit the front but were unable to sustain momentum. After 66 ends Holdfast led 69-62 and after 78 ends 76-64 and went on with the business.
Ashley Klose and his four prevailed 33-23 against Craig Mills in the day’s most telling result.
Josh Studham and his rink also played well all day in a 28-19 defeat of James Gregory.
Matt Northcott and his four triumphed 27-21 over Mark Haines after Haines had a purple patch mid game. The Laker’s skipper grabbed a six and a three to briefly change the course of the game.
For West Lakes Sam Dietrich who took over a skipper’s role, after Kane Coulls left to take up a club management position in the eastern states late in the season, held his form coming away with a 26-24 win against Max Kleinig.
Lockleys v Henley:
Prior to the game I spoke to a representative from each club and asked what tasks they had set themselves going into season 2020-21. Both came back with a similar reply. “It was important that we earned promotion into the Premier League. If we picked up a Grand Final win on the way that would be a bonus.”
Both the Eagles and the Sharks will be playing in the Premier League next season.
After an even first half Henley took out this season’s Grand Final 94-62 with a devastating second stanza. The Sharks won on three rinks of four played and deserved the 32shot success.
Simon Barriga and his rink of Jeff Marsh, James Buttfield and Sheridon Bodnar prevailed 31-8 against Brad Jansen in the game’s best result.
Neil Miller was equally effective skipping his four of Andrew Westbury, Steve Wright and Gary Schurgott to a 27-11 triumph over Ashley Halls.
Brad Pech also picked up a win finishing 20-18 up over Peter Thaler.
For the Eagles Robbie Flavel ended a stellar season with a 25-16 success against James Bodnar.
Division Two played at Lockleys
Salisbury v Modbury:
Salisbury’s second side went into its Grand Final against Modbury looking to complete what can be best termed as a fairy tale. The playing group began in the fourth division and over the next two years were promoted twice. On Saturday the team prevailed 103-59 and won on all rinks against the Thunder at Lockleys and will go into Division One in season 2021-22 with some confidence. The selectors will be smiling. Many people have said in the past that having a team in the Premier League and one in Division One allows for easy transition if a player from the Premier side is unavailable and I agree with that.
On a great day on the green Shaun Sayers skipped his rink to a 33-17 defeat of John McKnight in the day’s most telling result.
Mathew Hull and his four prevailed 26-13 against John Cooper in another good result.
Mark Shard and his rink continued the rout with a 24-12 triumph over Kerry Schultz.
On the fourth rink Ross McConnell fought hard all day before coming away with a 20-17 win against Rod Bahr.
Results of all other Grand Finals played on the day at 5 other Clubs
At Ascot Park Division 4 South – Marion defeated Brighton 84-62
At Lockleys Division 5 South – Ascot Park defeated Blackwood 73-70
At Marion Division 3 South – Millswood defeated Somerton 87-71
Division 4 West – Henley defeated Lockleys 80-65
At Toorak Burnside Division 4 East – Payneham defeated Tranmere 82-78
Division 5 West – Henley defeated Club Holdfast 79-64
At Modbury Division 3 North – Beaumont defeated Playford 79-45
Division 5 North – Gawler defeated Two Wells 97-73
At Trinity Gdns Division 4 North – Two Wells defeated Hope Valley 72-66
Division 5 East – Kensington Marryatville defeated Walkerville 79-73
A big thank you to all the Clubs that provided their facilities for the day for all the Sides in the Grand Finals to play at.