Lions Roar, Jets Soar as Magic Knock on Door | Platinum Wrap

by Billy Johnson

The Mount Lewis Lions and Raymond Terrace Jets were the big movers from last weekend, finishing as the only two teams to go through Rounds 3, 4 and 5 of Platinum Pennant unbeaten.

The Lions managed two consecutive 9pts – 1pt wins over Taren Point (58 – 52) and East Maitland (77 – 44), and followed that up with an 8.5pts – 1.5pts win over the Belrose Bulls (59 – 54). The pick of the teams was Patrick Smith, Thor Shannon, Ben Winther and Brett Spurr who showed incredible consistency to win their three matches 22 – 14, 23 – 11 and 20 – 13 respectively.

It was a similar success story for Raymond Terrace who accounted for East Maitland 68 – 39 (9pts – 1pt) and Carlingford 55 – 49 (9pts – 1pt) before facing the unbeaten ladder leaders St Johns Park on Sunday morning. The Jets put on the afterburners against the Saints, producing a solid 69 – 49 (9.5pts – 0.5pts) win.

Both the Jets and the Lions improved their overall record to 4-1 in the Platinum Pennant, joining Cabramatta and St Johns Park in the top 5 with only 4 points separating first from fourth! The Bullants’ weekend started perfectly with a solid 59 – 45 (10pts – 0pts) win over Wenty Leagues, but their unbeaten start to the season came to an end the following round at home against Taren Point, losing 38 – 69 (0pts- 10pts). Incredibly, Cabramatta were top of the table and Taren Point anchored in 12th position when the two teams played, proving that there’s no easy matches in this competition! Despite the loss, Cabramatta regrouped quickly to defeat Warilla 61 – 50 (8pts – 2pts) in Round 5 – Nick Cahill’s 31 – 8 win enough to secure the masterboard for the Bullants.

Warilla and Cabramatta players before their Round 5 clash

St Johns Park also enjoyed two convincing 10pts – 0 pts wins over Belrose (64 – 38) and Engadine (69 – 49). Their loss to the Jets moved them down to equal-second place with Cabramatta, and one point off Raymond Terrace in first.

Rounding out the Top 5 are the Warilla Gorillas who defeated Engadine and Wenty Leagues in Round 3 and 4, picking up 19 out of a possible 20 points along the way. Despite losing to Cabramatta in Round 5, securing 2 rink wins meant the Gorillas stayed in the Top 5. Hot on their tails are the Merrylands Magic who claimed two wins from their three matches and sit just 1.5 points outside the Top 5. Another 1.5 points behind the Magic are the Engadine Cougars who rebounded from losses in Rounds 3 and 4 to produce a strong 69 – 44 (10pts – 0pts) win against Merrylands.

East Maitland, Wenty Leagues and Taren Point all managed to win one match from three over the weekends’ play, with particular mention going to Jay Bye-Norris’ Taren Point team who registered their first win in emphatic fashion with a 34 – 8 scoreline. Carlingford and Belrose both failed to earn victories over the weekend, leaving the Bulls as the only team yet to register a win after 5 rounds.

It’s still way too early to make a call on the Top 5 for the first season of Platinum Pennant, and with no teams unbeaten after five rounds it’s a great indication that the quality of this competition has been incredibly high. Looking ahead to Round 6, fourth-placed Mount Lewis going head-to-head against fifth-placed Warilla should be a spectacular battle, as will the live streamed match between Belrose and Engadine on Saturday 20th April at 12:30pm.

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