LAST Saturday's round nine results of the district pennants have provided the winners of two more flags, as well as illustrating how tight the remaining grades are.
With one round to go, Wingham have won Grade Two and the right to return to the top grade. Black Head have sealed Grade Seven and will be elevated to Grade Six in 2015.
Now to the other results from Round Nine and how they have provided intriguing finishes to the season for four grades.
The blue ribbon event witnessed a surprise result, when Taree West defeated Tuncurry by the odd shot for a 5/1 win. However the one point was sufficient for Tuncurry to maintain their hold on the flag for another season.
The other games saw Taree Leagues dominate Manning Point for a 6/0 victory, while Forster remains safe after defeating Pacific Palms 5/1.
Tuncurry, have won the flag on 40 , seven points clear of the fast finishing leagues. Manning Point's loss will definitely see them relegated back to Grade Two in 2015.
Turning to second grade and Wingham sealed their flag with a four shot game and a 5/1 win over Taree Leagues.
The early pace setters, Black Head, defeated Tuncurry 6/0 and Harrington showed last week's win was not an aberration, managing a two shot win for a 5/1 result.
Wingham on 40 points cannot be beaten for this year's flag, being nine points clear of Black Head. Cellar dwellers, Harrington, must be ruing what could have been following their late run home.
Harrington play the Leagues boys in Round 10, while fifth placed Tuncurry are at home to Wingham. The intrigue is that Harrington's fate could be decided by who wins Grade Three. And who said bowls couldn't be interesting!
To the threes and there was the usual change to the leader board.
Tuncurry won 6/0 over Lansdowne, Forster ran out 4 to 1 winners against Bulahdelah and Sporties had a strong win against Taree Leagues 6/0.
Tuncurry leads on 38 points, with Forster on 37. Two of the games in Round 10 will decide not only who wins the flag but also who will be relegated in 2015.
As the number three grade is always difficult to win, so is Grade Four.
Last Saturday's results saw Sporties crush Black Head for a 6/0 win; Harrington continued their good form for a 4/2 win over Old Bar and Forster won the extra rink in their draw with Tuncurry for a 3 to 2 result.
There is a spread of 4 points between the top four teams, with Harrington leading on 34, three points clear of Forster with Old Bar and Sporties in the mix.
However, Round 10 has the leader playing fourth place and second playing third and the flag winner will be known around 4.30 pm next Saturday. Black Head is headed for Grade Five next season.
Now to the fives and in Section One, Gloucester had the bye. Tuncurry was too strong for Sporties for a 6/0 win and Forster won 5/1 over Taree Leagues.
Taree Leagues leads on 27 points, three points from Gloucester with Tuncurry a further point away. But, Taree Leagues has their bye in Round 10, giving the second and third placed sides the opportunity to leapfrog the leader. Interesting, isn't it?
In Section Two, Old Bar had the bye. A further surprise for the season with leader Wingham going down to bottom placed Taree West 4 to 1 . Harrington continued their late run with a 4/2 win over Manning Point.
Wingham have won the section, leading on 33 points, with Manning Point trailing by 9 points. Wingham will not know their post sectional opponent until the dust settles next Saturday.
Turning to the sixes and in Section One Pacific Palms had the bye. Taree Railway continued on their winning way with a 5/1 result over Tuncurry and Sporties (1) had a similar 5/1 win against Forster.
Sporties (1) leads on 29, 1 points from the Railway boys. Next Saturday's Round 10 will decide the section winner out of the top two sides.
In Section Two, Harrington had the bye. Taree Leagues had a strong 5 to win over Lansdowne while Taree West took advantage of Harrington having the bye, when they won 5/1 against Sporties (2).
Taree West now leads on 27, two points ahead of Harrington. As in Section One, Round 10 will decide the winner; and who will meet who in the post sectional for the flag.
Now to the mighty sevens and Black Head has won the flag, following their 6/0 demolition of Sporties. Harrington won 5/1 over the Leagues boys and Forster had a comfortable 5/1 result against Wingham.
Black Head cannot be beaten, leading the way on 41 points, nine points clear of Forster.
There we have it for another week. Two more grades decided along with Tuncurry's First Grade flag and four grades yet to be determined. Two of these will be subject to post sectional play offs, while the other two will be known around 4.30 pm next Saturday.
This season's competitions have been as tight as I predicted 10 weeks ago; the actual points score aligned with the possible maximum available confirms this point.
But that's as it should be; keen competition creates interest and, after Saturday's results, anyone can beat anyone, no matter who they are!
The best of luck to all sides in their final home/away games next Saturday.