Close battle looms between Otago club’s sides in pennants

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Michael Minty looks at the match-ups in the metropolitan pennants this weekend.

Otago B52s v Otago Bombers

The B52s should be buoyed by the fact they took Island Park to a playoff in Waldronville in the heartbreaking 3-3 loss via extra holes, while the Bombers have had an early season wake-up call and will be up for this grudge match.

The Bombers welcome back Brandon Hodgson and Ricky Stewart, who missed the round-one clash, while the B52s bring in Isaac Hobbs, Tom Gillan and Lower Waitaki convert Lachie Coutts.

The key battle could be at No 6 with the in-form Lewis Harper facing Tony Brown, who is on debut. A win for Harper could set the B52s up for another playoff or the win. B52s via extra holes?

Chisholm Links v Island Park

One of these first-round winners looks set to be a leading player in the early part of the season after securing wins in different fashion a fortnight ago.

The Links have made two changes, Mike Weastell and Matt Robinson coming in, while Monty Wong is the only change for the visitors.

Traditionally, there has never been more than a game or two between these sides.

Do not be surprised if Island Park face extra holes for a second match in a row, but both sides will feel they have enough in the arsenal to clinch the minimum 3.5 games for the outright win.

St Clair Saints v Taieri Lakes

The Saints could not have started better — demolishing the Bombers at Balmacewen — while Taieri Lakes battled their way to a 4-2 loss to Chisholm Links.

The Saints have again put out a nearly full-strength side with Cody McMullan subbing in for Tony Giles, while Mark Andrews slots back in for Taieri after missing round one.

Dropping a game they really needed to win and playing away to a strong Saints sextet is not an ideal start for Taieri. It is hard to see them getting close to winning this one but the games tally will be important come finals time, so bagging any games may be seen as a small victory.