Great Southern Tennis completed its final minor round for 2020/21 over the weekend, with only one real surprise affecting ladder positions heading into Round 1 of finals.
In Division 1, Back Valley held on by 1 rubber against Inman Valley to confirm the minor premiership while Victor Harbor were too good for Goolwa, winning by 3 rubbers ensuring they secured home court advantage this week.
There were no shocks in Division 2/3 with the much anticipated Myponga-Sellicks v Port Elliot clash going the way of ladder leader Myponga-Sellicks. The 10 sets to 6 scoreline suggests Port Elliot have a chance of causing an upset this week.
Normanville thrashed Goolwa by 10 sets to head into this week's final against Back Valley. For Back Valley, they scraped in 9 sets to 7 against the dogged Mount Compass whose season is over.
The Doubles Competition saw some ladder movement. Inman Red upset Victor Harbor by 2 sets, but Victor still held onto the top spot of lower half finals. Inman Blue were humbled by John Wesley who could do no more than to win all 6 of their matches. Mount Compass ensured Inman White were crowned wooden spooners for the competition and with their 5 sets to 1 victory, secured the double chance ahead of Inman Blue.
Port Elliot White - the top of the ladder team - had a shock loss to third placed Port Elliot Red. Red put the sword to the ladder leader to such an extent that they gained enough points to maintain third spot despite the pursuant John Wesley's 6-0 result, and thus secure home court advantage.
This also means all three Port Elliot doubles teams are at home this Saturday, in a great result for the club and its supporters.
Finals week 1 in Division 1 is a repeat of last Saturday's matches, with Back Valley and Inman Valley returning to Back Valley for a spot in the Grand Final. Both teams are set to have different line-ups from last week with unavailability and injury the main issues.
Inman's men will have to find something extra to secure the win, while Back Valley will want to prize away victories from the stubborn Inman ladies. Recent battles have been close deciders and this will be the same with Back Valley favourites to advance.
Victor Harbor host Goolwa and will feel confident of repeating last Saturday's result. Goolwa have played with determination and enthusiasm all season, but it might not be enough to secure victory.
Division 2 Myponga-Sellicks and Port Elliot return for their second bout, but this time at Myponga which will be a decided advantage for the home side. Port Elliot may think they can reverse their fortunes, but Myponga-Sellicks are too strong and should win comfortably.
Normanville host Back Valley and in their first appearance for many a year in Division 2, appear to be finding some winning form at the right time of the season. Back Valley will feel confident though as their last visit to the beach saw them win.
In the Doubles top half finals, Port Elliot White play Port Elliot Black. In their only meeting in the season, the White team won on games and with their losing form last week, they could be ripe for the picking. The Black team will be fresh from having the bye. The White team should prevail in another nail biter.
Port Elliot Red host John Wesley and will feel confident they can knock out the only hope of a non-Port Elliot doubles premiership. Their last meeting a month ago says otherwise, which saw John Wesley win comfortably. Port Elliot Red had the much harder lead up and this will hold them in good stead.
The lower half doubles competition has Victor Harbor hosting Mount Compass for a grand final birth and Compass are the team that is showing better form at the moment, combined with their finals experience and the fact they beat Victor earlier in the season, they can get the job done.
In the knockout final, Inman Valley Blue and Inman Valley Red do battle. The Inman Red train is gathering momentum at the right time of season, and since the new year they have the better winning percentage compared to their Blue counterparts. Their last encounter saw the Blue team win by 5 games but the Red team can reverse that result and go on to week 2 of the finals.