Women’s Premier League Preview

by Aaron Delaporte

We are on the doorstep of another Blooms The Chemist Women’s Tuesday Pennant Competition and the one thing we can all be thankful for given the last six months is the fact as bowlers we are able to hit the greens and enjoy ourselves win, lose or draw. There has not been too much change to the teams this season in the Women’s competition as is generally the case except for the odd player or two per side so at least on paper its hard to predict too much change. Can some of the lesser performed clubs in recent years rise to the lofty standards of Manning and challenge them for a title they have held for the last six years, for an interest point of view it would make for something different but there is no doubt Manning will be keen to win it again. We take a look at every side in the competition listed below in the order we think they might finish.

Manning
Last Year: 1st
INS – Nil
OUTS – H Morss (South Perth), R Jolly (unavailable)
Comments: After winning an amazing sixth straight Premier League title its hard not to tip Manning to do it again. They have lost one of their biggest guns in Helen Morss along with a very reliable player in Robyn Jolly however Therese Hastings should slot back into a skips spot and the club has very good depth in its second side to fill the vacancies. Expect them still to be the team to beat but they are certainly not the unbeatable side they have looked in previous years.

Mosman Park
Last Year: 2nd
INS – Helen Hutton (Port Bouvard), Annie Atthowe (Leeman)
OUTS – Nil
Comments: Generally always the bridesmaid to the powerful Manning it will be another season where Mosman Park will look to push them all the way. The Mossies have bolstered their ranks with two good country acquisitions who may not start in the top side but will certainly be looking to force there way in should others not be at their best. Lisa Featherby was the competitions best ranked skipper last year and with Lee Poletti back for her second season those rinks provide a good platform to once again reach the grand final

North Beach
Last Year: 4th
INS – Nil
OUTS – Cheryl Thomson (unavailable)
Comments: North Beach were terrific last year being the only side to topple the mighty Manning. They have lost a good player in Cheryl Thomson but with good depth in their ranks should have no trouble covering that loss. Isobelle Davies who has played Premier league in the past will fill her spot. Expect them to be right in contention once again.

Osborne Park
Last Year: 3rd
INS – Nil
OUTS – Pam Chalmers (unavailable)
Comments: Osborne Park had their best season in recent seasons finishing second during the regular season before missing out in the finals. Regular skip Pam Chalmers is currently unavailable which is definitely a loss to the team however Margaret Anderson will move up to take a rink. The team has a good mix of improving younger players plus seasoned campaigners which should see them in finals contention once again.

Sorrento
Last Year – 6th Prediction – 5th
INS –
OUTS – Nerrida Porteous (Ellenbrook)
Comments: Sorrento had a real up and down season last year with good wins over Mosman Park and North Beach yet were also the only team to be beaten by Mundaring. Having lost a good bowler in Nerrida Porteous who has decided to play closer to home they have bought in some new names from their lower grades who might spark a revitalization. If there is one team who can break into the top 4 then its Sorrento.

Melville
Last Year: 5th
INS – Margaret Booth (Manning)
OUTS – Shirley Johnston (Bassendean)
Comments: Melville performed well last year finishing fifth which may well be their best placing in a number of seasons. They have three very good skips in Blackwell, Brannan and Mias who on their day could beat anyone. I expect another steady season for Melville but can they take the extra step to reach finals?

Safety Bay
Last Year – 7th
INS – Nil
OUTS – Nil
Comments: Safety Bay have proven to be very competitive in Premier League and will go into this season with an unchanged line-up. The only real movement is Irene Arndt moving to a skips position replacing Jennifer Kite who swaps to the second’s spot. They have a good home ground advantage and generally perform a bit better on home soil so were unlucky to have two heated out games at home last season. They can rise a touch on the seventh spot and should trouble even the best teams.

Leeming
Last Year – 2nd in 1st White
INS – Nil
OUTS – Kay Gee (Gosnells)
Comments: In what was a great season for Leeming they lost just two games on the way to claiming the 1st White flag and returning to Premier League. They have been a bit of a Yo-Yo team going up and down in recent seasons so will be keen to hold their spot this time. The selectors have bought in three players from their second team who all had good records in their other 1st White team which was relegated. I expect them to be competitive in a lot of games this year and certainly in the mix amongst the middle of the ladder teams.

Gosnells
Last Year – 8th
INS – Kay Gee (Leeming)
OUTS – Julie Stokes (Halls Head)
Comments: Gosnells would have been disappointed to only finish 8th last year so will be keen to bounce back in 2020. They have lost Julie Stokes but have gained Kay Gee from Leeming as some compensation. They have a bit of depth at the club and used

Wanneroo
Last Year – 5th in 1st White
INS – Joan Brown (Joondalup)
OUTS – Nil
Comments: In rare and unusual circumstances Wanneroo will make the leap from finishing 5th in 1st White to playing with the big guns in Premier League. The side is relatively unchanged from last year’s lineup with the exception of Joan Brown who comes in from Joondalup. Even the most optimistic Wanneroo supporter would struggle to pick them to challenge the elite teams in the competition so winning games at home against the lesser credentialed sides is their best chance of avoiding relegation. Regardless of the season’s outcome you do have to hand it to the Wanneroo Ladies for giving it a go and I’m sure they will be a lot better as players for the experience.