Sport

Lakers in finals contention

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January 23, 2017

Lakers coach Paul Nichols said the cohesion between players was making a difference.

After spending the first five weeks of the season in the bottom two, Nagambie should now play finals in the Allan Matheson Shield.

The Lakers have created a buffer in the top four with clean sweep of rinks in a win against Shepparton RSL.

Coupled with Kyabram’s 20-shot loss to East Shepparton at the weekend, the Lakers are now 18 points clear of the fifth-placed Rissoles.

Nagambie confirmed that the selectors have now got the right personnel in its rinks with the home 19-99 to 0-72 victory.

When the two sides met in round one, the Rissoles came out on top, but the changes throughout the Lakers’ rinks have been enormous.

While the Nagambie players remain predominantly the same, the rink line-ups are vastly different from round one.

Lakers coach Paul Nichols said the cohesion between players was making a difference.

‘‘You need to find players that are compatible. Some people work with each other better than others,’’ Paul Nichols said

‘‘We’ve got it just about right now.’’

Daniel Nichols entered back into the fold and was played second in Paul Nichols’ rink that took a three-shot win against Shepparton RSL’s Gary Mansfield.

At the beginning of the day Nagambie was well in front with a 19-5 lead, but Mansfield’s group staged a fightback to nearly snatch the points.

In contrast it was Nagambie’s Brett Spargo who made a move after the break in a battle against Phil McCann.

‘‘He (Spargo) went really well. They were struggling to start with and then they all bowled well,’’ Paul Nichols said.

‘‘It was level pegging and windy. They were eight and eight and then nine and nine, and then they (Spargo’s rink) picked up after afternoon tea.’’

Players had to contend with swirling gusts that changed direction throughout the match, but once Spargo kicked into gear, the rink took a 14-shot victory.

Along with Robert Page’s eight-shot victory and Greg Brack’s two-shot victory, the Lakers are looking settled as they head into a match-up against East Shepparton next week.

Kyabram could not back up its win last week against Shepparton RSL when hosting East on Saturday.

While Rob Sceney’s move back to skip proved fruitful for Ky with a one-shot win over Josh Rudd, it was the side’s only rink victory.

East’s Jordan Thornton and Kyabram’s Rob George shared the points in a 22-all draw, but Geoff Franze’s dominant rink victory helped East Shepparton take an 20-shot away win.

The final match of the round saw Shepparton Park take a sizeable victory over Stanhope with all rinks pitching in to create the 34-shot win.

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