Saturday Pennant mid season, nine rounds down, nine rounds to go. Ashburton has had a strong first half of the season, especially the last few weeks. We have had more wins than losses and a couple of Sides are well placed to contemplate more games at season end. Though our top side will need to convert close matches into wins in the second half to avoid moving into the bottom two.
Rounds 8 and 9 in particular have been great for Ashburton with Sides 2, 3, 4 and 5 having two wins each. If Side 1 can capture some of the impetus, the second half of the season looks bright.
For the Ashburton season so far, Side 3 (division 6) leads the way with seven wins and only one loss. They hold a remarkable +124.75 shots difference. However, the season did not start with promise. A wash out in round 1, a close win by 3 shots at home v Croydon and a 4 shot loss to Bennettswood in round 3 was an average start - at this stage Ashburton 3 had a 1/1/1 record and were middle of the pack.
The real winning feeling flowed in round 4 with a 4 rink, 27 shot belting of North Balwyn. Then in round 5, Ashy just pipped Doncaster by 1 shot and Greensborough by 5 shots the next week. Rounds 7, 8 and 9 saw more convincing wins against Greythorn (23 shots), Burwood District (14 shots) and Kingsbury (51.75 shots).
At the season turn, Ashburton 3 hold the top of the table position by 16 points over Auburn 1. Third placed Greythorn 2 are 28 points behind Ashburton. The wash out in round 1 v Auburn 1 denied Ashburton a chance to see how they could go against this other strong performer in this section. So it will be a real next test this Saturday v Auburn at home. Should Ashburton win, it will be daylight to second place.
Ashburton 2 (division 4) are also well placed being third on the league table, 18 points behind leader Doncaster 2 and only one point behind second placed Blackburn 3. The story for this side has been good rink wins and winning all home games played. It has the best ratio of rink wins per game of any side in the section. The wash out in round 1 was a home game, there were only three other home games, all won by Ashburton. It won 2 of its 5 away games for a 5/3/1 record at the half of the season.
Ashburton 5 had a poor start with only one win in the first five rounds. Round six saw a bye and round 7 was a walk over given by Boronia. The three week break seemed to refresh this Ashburton division 7 side who had good wins in rounds 8 and 9 to complete the first half of the season in 6th place on the table.
Ashburton 4 really hit its stride in the last two rounds with a big win v Mooroolbark by 68 shots and Upwey Tecoma by 30 shots to complete the first half of the season in 7th place. Whilst it does sit 7th, there is little danger of falling into the bottom two at this point. Ashburton 4 have a lead of 10 points on 8th place, and are well clear of the last two teams by 39 and 40 points. The win loss record is a credible 4/4/1.
The top side, Division 2, has had three wins. Of the five losses, two have been very close, 2 and 4 shots only. Ashburton 1 now sit in an uncomfortable 8th place with 68 points just a couple of points ahead of 9th placed Doncaster. In the run up to the holiday break, they play 4th, 5th and 6th placed teams and two are away games. It maybe cold turkey at Christmas unless we can show our best over the next three Saturdays.