FOOTBALL

I am not mentioning my pay packet as I would not be surprised if Todd and Doc lighten it a bit more after my 12 and 1/2  out of 19 effort last week.
In footy I got one out of three in the Riverland A`s and two out of four in the Independents.
Now that does not necessarily reflect on my ability as a tipster Extraordinaire but more on the level of competition I am trying to adjudicate on.
In the Mallee three out of three was more my form.
In local netball Loxton did not appreciate me tipping against them and gave Berri a beating while in the exciting A grade men`s soccer season another loss to the Barmera Monash Pelicans upset my prediction.
This weekend the RIVERLAND footballers take yet another ‘flexi day’.
It must be confusing supporters but probably good for their gardens and also one feels a few of the clubs will welcome the break for some repairs and maintenance on players.
There is one game however, a catch up in the Independents that should be an entertaining affair even though it is second against sixth, Blanchetown Swan Reach versus Cobdogla.
In 2012 BSR cruised to the finals and the premiership but its progress to double chance territory this season has been by comparison more of a limp up until the last few weeks.
Now with the big guns Dale Payne and Troy Cowland being joined by the likes of Jed Martinson and JamieTanner in  a real team effort the Redbacks are right on target for a crack at back to back flags.
But boy you have to admire the spirit of the Cobdogla Eagles as despite their finals chances being gone and a fair quota of injuries they are digging deep to finish the season strongly.
Ben Crosbie, Zac Walker, Graeme Dyer, Jordan Roissetter and Anthony Lippis back and kicking goals will ensure that Cobdogla keeps BSR honest but you would expect the second placed side to win.
Meanwhile in the MALLEE League with the occupants of the final four settled it is only a matter of the positions that they will occupy when the last two rounds are completed.
This Saturday top side BDT, with Josh Keller, the Richardsons, Barrett and Hooker and many others fine tuning for the business end of 2013 should be far too good for fourth placed Murrayville which simply cannot end its losing streak.
It will need to find a lot more support for players like Vessali, Noblett and Kevin Wyatt if it is going to impact on the major round.
Karoonda, second on 14 points, has a chance to consolidate the double chance when it meets a Peake outfit that sits fifth and is in danger of slipping to the wooden spoon.
The Magpies have lifted in the last couple of outings as Ben Quinn and Corey Knight are back in form and along with the likes of Graetz and Walker they are suggesting they may be the biggest threat to BDT.
 On the other hand Peake will be desperate, in a season that carried so much expectation, not to be overtaken by Pinnaroo and with Phillips, Trevor Rigney and Jaensch up and about could take it right up to Karoonda. But it`s the Maggies for mine.
The match of the day will be Lameroo, third on twelve points but also behind Karoonda on percentage,  against Pinnaroo.
Ben Grieger, Walker, McNeilly and co. Versus  Alex Keough, Tyron Bennetts and Brad Sheridan and co. Suggests a terrific clash.
The Hawks however will throw everything into an attempt to improve its percentage and with perhaps a bit more depth overall might find enough to win.
If Karoonda defeats Peake it will have 16 points while a victory by Lameroo against Pinnaroo would give it 14.
With Karoonda to play BDT and Lameroo to meet Peake in the final round of matches second position could well be decided by percentage.

NETBALL

With the A1 teams to play in the finals set at Renmark, Loxton, Waikerie and Berri it is now a matter of them tuning up for the finals while two vastly improved self proclaimed ‘developing’ sides Loxton North and Barmera will be anxious to go out in style.
This Friday night Loxton North plays Berri at Loxton Stadium.
North with Ellie Thomas, Kelly Shankland, Erika Sporn and Hana Learhinan in form will be keen to shrug off last week`s below par result against Waikerie but Berri also was beaten comfortably by Loxton in the last outing.
While acknowledging that some teams have been without key players in recent weeks for various reasons effecting results it should be noted that in the previous round Berri had upset Waikerie.
Assuming then that it will have a full muster including in form Carolyn Martin, Ebony Hoffmann and Michelle Wenman it is chosen to win narrowly.
Waikerie at home to Barmera should on the other hand win fairly comfortably with Hannah Lehmann, Lauren Oswald, Lucy Eldredge ans Ashleigh Smith all back in action. Barmera though has made a lot of progress in 2013 and are now a very competitive unit guided by a consistent group of Cobie Drogemuller, Katie Saville, Mackella Armfield and Sue Whitbourne.
Renmark at home to Loxton ? Afortnight ago you would have said that the home side was too settled and boasted too much depth for the reigning premier.
But Loxton was back to something like its best in beating Berri with Jackie Dahlitz, Alysha Proud and Leah Uren setting the example.
Top ranked Renmark though has to start favourite with Denikah Gartery, Emily Garrett, Keryn Van Dyke, Hannah Foody ,Sonja Modlinski and others forming a talented group

HOCKEY

This Friday night`s A grade matches see Waikerie meet Renmark at Glassey Park.
Then on Saturday Loxton plays Berri at Loxton, the men`s A grade game at 2am and women`s at 3-30.
Several teams will be without key players who are away with the SA Country sides for the Australian Championships in WA.
At 7pm tomorrow night recent form suggests that Renmark should defeat the 2012 premier Waikerie in the men`s clash.
Waikerie has been undermanned in recent contests and a lot has been left to the likes of Jason Redemski, who is in WA,  Michael Camilleri, Rowan Hope and Rowan Kleemann .
Renmark on the other hand while without SA Country representatives Brett Stokes and Aden Shaw have a long list including Callum Benda, Ben Townsend, Danial Shawyer, and Lincoln Matulin capable of holding the fort and winning.
In Saturday`s Loxton versus Berri men`s match Loxton will have three stars away in the West but again with Karl Hennig, Matt Hammond, Ryan Hentschke and Tim Pannell in residence it should have too many guns for its young opponents.
However there is a lot to like about this Berri side that boasts the stability of Tony Halupka and Matt Reeks but also has a number of promising youngsters including Tim Trewren and Sam Walladge emerging.
The women`s match at 8-30 on Friday night between Waikerie and Renmark looks like a Renmark win despite young star Jamie Butters being away with SA Country.
The possibility of Juliet Mallinson, `keeper Sibel Huseyin, Bec Keynes, Sally Giles and Danielle Weeks lining up against a side reliant on Carlye Waye, Thalia Boatswain in goals, Anna Kroehn and Janine Frost appears too much.
Then on Saturday at Loxton the home side will be without young coach Tara Allister for what should be an absorbing clash with pennant ‘Dark Horse’ Berri.
Loxton are tipped to win with Billie Jo Hammerstein still there to steer a ship that has some talented crew including Steph Baird, Haylee Symens, Louise Smith, Jane Reid and Eloise Hampel on its roster.
But mention has to be made of an exciting Berri side that is imposing itself on the competition.
What a great blend of youth and experience in Kris Weir, Jen Kiel, Merinda and Kira McMahon, Emma Burge, Ada Walladge, Charlotte Dominic, Tori Martin and Renae Bayliss the Berri side has assembled.

SOCCER

What a competition?
As we have said often a few weeks ago Barmera United looked like it could start preparing a space in its clubrooms for the spoils of the 2013 A grade men`s premiership.
Now after successive defeats at the hands of 2012 premier Berri River Rangers and Renmark Olympic it finds itself in third spot, three points behind Berri and two astern of Renmark.
But with only three rounds of matches remaining, meaning all sides play each other once, the pennant winner could be in dispute right up to the last kick of the season.
This Sunday`s round is at Loxton with the host side to play Barmera and in a crucial encounter Berri to meet Renmark.
Barmera should grab the three points and boost its goal difference against a Loxton side that via Spyro Polymiadis, French recruit Stephane Raynard, skipper McPherson and co is battling gamely but simply lack depth.
Barmera, although not the powerhouse of early 2013 has still had Martin Barber, veteran Jim Fournaros, Rhys Barber and Daniel Anderson in good touch.
They say winning form is good form so Berri and Renmark both take this into a clash which could decide their seasons.
Rangers seemed to have a number of the players in something of a premiership ‘hangover’ until their title was under threat.
Now we see a consistent Russel Frankel, Tyson Schrapel and Edmond Grosser being joined by the likes of Marcus Drogemuller, Nick Spinks, Steve Atkinson, Walter Monoja and coach Alex Garoufalis  to form a ‘premiership’ style combination.
But Sunday`s opponent, the winner of the Pre Season Sunraysia-Riverland event, Renmark, is now boasting similar credentials.
The talented goal scoring duo, Hari and Bari Singh, Tarqin Frahn, Jesse Kahlon, Daniel Clarke, Kyle Collinson make for a good side.
Tipsy is tipping Rangers but even my talent at this caper is being tested by the heat in the kitchen of this red hot competition.
 But assuming I am on the money by Sunday night Berri would remain three points ahead of Barmera with Renmark one astern third.
Then next week Barmera plays Berri and Renmark meets Loxton?.
Then Berri plays Loxton and Barmera meets Renmark to complete the season?
Might be a good time to ask Todd and Doc for some long service leave?
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