Weekend Pennant Review Season 2016/2017



            The weekend pennant home and away part of the season was completed last Saturday 4th March 2017.  The season certainly has been a testing time for the club with a core group of players leaving the club at the start of the season, several of whom were in the top two grades that played in the grand finals the previous season.  This has put a strain on the selectors to try and get the balance right.  We also had to contend with the unfortunate situation of losing some extra players due to serious health issues which cannot be avoided.  We wish those players a speedie recovery and hope to see them fit and well for the start of next season. 

            To all players that have been available to play pennant and especially those players that we have had to call on to help the club out due to extreme emergencies, we thank you. 

            A1.  Finished 3rd and now face Rutherglen in the elimination final.  We had to find four replacements in this grade this year, including three new 'skips'.  There have been a number of players given an opportunity in this grade this year.  The season started brightly having eight wins in a row prior to the Xmas break but since then we have had five losses.  Every player in this grade needs to put a lot of work in to improve at least 20% if we are to progress past the first final. 

            A2.  Finished top and now face Kiewa in the qualifying final.  Again we have had to promote a number of players in this grade from last season, plus contend with one of the skips being unavailable due to a health issue after the Xmas break and another player who opted out of the team after the break.  However, this team again has overcome these issues as it did last year with similar issues and find themselves in a great position.  Still room for a lot of improvement though. 

            A3.  Unfortunately this grade misses out on playing finals by two(2) points.  So close to making it and I am sure we will reflect on the games lost early in the season by a handful of shots that have come back to haunt us in the final standings.  

            A4.  Finished 4th and now face Milawa in an elimination final.  This side has performed strongly throughout the season and again has had some challenges along the way with player availability.  However they are now in a position to push towards a pennant but will need to combine well in the first weekend of the finals. 

            B3.  Finished second and now face Yackandandah in the qualifying final.  Again this team has had some changes at the start of the season but generally has been fairly constant and have performed really well.  Again there is the need for improvement for the finals games you are in a great position so work hard and take advantage of what you have achieved so far this season. 

            B4.  With a strong finish towards the end of the season has seen this team finish in second (2nd) position and they will play Corryong in the qualifying final.   A great effort by all players, I know that the club really wants this grade in particular to win the pennant so keep effort going and good luck.

             C1.   Finishing 3rd they now face Mitta in an elimination final.  As with all the other grades, the C1 side has also faced a large number of changes to players this season, as a result there haven't been too many rounds where the sames players have been together so thank you for your patience and good luck with the finals. 

            Availability of players is always a constant issue that the selection committee have had to contend with every week of the season.  We have tried our best with who is available to field strong competitive teams every week. It has been unfortunate for some of the players with medical issues that have had to pull out of pennant, the big disappointment though is that some players have made themselves unavailable or pulled out of pennant completely during the season, letting their club down. 

            The first weekend of the finals will be cut throat for the A1, A4 and C1 sides.  The A2, B3 and B4 sides need to win their qualifying final on the Saturday or they too will be faced with having to play a cut throat preliminary final on the Sunday. 

            Remember the Elimination and Qualifying finals will be played on Saturday 18th March.  The Preliminary final will be played on Sunday 19th March and the GRAND FINAL will be played on Saturday 25th March.   Please be mindful, the venue for the Preliminary Final may not be at the same venue as the Elimination or Qualifying Final. 

            All Wodonga weekend finals teams will be picked on Tuesday 14th March with their respective venues of the finals and starting times.  Please also be aware that the correct club uniform  must be worn during the finals to avoid the possibility of disqualification.  If you are unsure what this means ask your team manager or the selectors. 

            We would ask players/members that are not playing finals to get along to a finals venue and cheer and support your team mates and club during the finals campaign.  

            Good luck to all players that are selected to represent Wodonga during the finals this season.