Most pennants sides in finals contention as Geraldton Red lead packed Batavia Bowling League men’s ladder

Joe CriddleGeraldton Guardian
Wonthella Gold's Eddie Dodd.
Camera IconWonthella Gold's Eddie Dodd. Credit: Supplied

Most of the Batavia Bowling League men’s pennants sides are still in with a hope of finals play and all will be plotting over the break on how to make a tilt for the top four spots.

Geraldton Red are top of a tight table – just – and will have some work to do if they want to stake a claim as minor premiers after play resumes in March, or even if they want to assure qualification.

With 19 points separating first and ninth, and seven rounds to go, realistically nine of the 10 sides can play finals bowls.

Even 10th-placed Northampton could mathematically still make it, although they would need a lot of luck to go their way.

Geraldton Red edged above Wonthella Gold in December in the final round for 2021, taking a single-point lead into the five-week break with an eighth successive aggregate win of the season.

The Reds’ run has been formidable, with the team rebounding from three successive losses to open the season to put together a string of results that has taken them from tenth to first over eight rounds.

The most recent round was no exception as they took all the points on offer with a 6-0 (80-42) win over Denison White.

That looks set to continue with the player ladder red at the top – Jon Trotter, Brian Wright and Peter Batten head the player listings in the skipper, third and leader positions. Each has nine wins for the year.

For their part, Wonthella Gold claimed a fighting 4-2 result last round over third-placed Geraldton Blue despite winning just one rink.

The return came thanks to a commanding 22-shot victory for Eddie Dodd, John Lucas, Gary Clark and Dennis Marsden over the in-form Geoff Ellis.

Mullewa bounced back from three successive losses to claim a quality 5-1 victory over Geraldton Gold, winning 5-1 (62-51) on home turf to stay fourth, five points behind the leaders.

Saints young gun Aiden McAuliffe is fourth in the player standings while clubmate Nino Messina is fifth, with both having produced eight wins in 11 matches.

Wonthella Maroon claimed all the points in their home game with Northampton, keeping their finals chances alive with seven home-and-away rounds to go.

Positional changes throughout the team worked for the Maroons, who need to collect five and a half points to qualify for playoffs.

In the second division, top side Geraldton Red look well set to qualify for finals along with Wonthella Maroon and Geraldton Gold, while the fourth spot is well and truly open with eight points the gap to ninth place.

The chasing pack need positive results when play starts in the remaining qualifiers in mid-March.

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