Evans in box seat

CASINO RSM, behind by 5.5 points, is pushing it uphill in its bid to take its fourth consecutive NRDBA No 1 pennant. It's a matter of 'ifs'.

IF Evans Head doesn't score a point against Ballina in tomorrow's final round; IF Casino RSM picks up a sixer against South Lismore, the reigning premier would take the flag by half a point.

But you'd have to be a mad-keen Casino optimist to put money on that scenario happening. Though anything's possible.

Casino RSM isn't likely to have things all its own way against South Lismore.

The once mighty Southies are the only side to have beaten Evans Head this season, handing the then undefeated leaders a 73-49 five-point thumping in Round Six.

Evans Head, too, won't find Ballina a pushover tomorrow. Ballina has won five of its nine matches and has third place sewn up, nine points ahead of next best, South Lismore.

The last time Ballina met Evans Head, the competition leaders could win by only six shots (55-49), although picking up five points.

It would take a disastrous loss of form tomorrow, though, for Evans Head to miss out on the flag.

In last Saturday's penultimate round, Evans Head landed five points from Alstonville; Casino RSM also picked up five from East Lismore to keep the final race, if not on an even keel, at least not quite decided.

With only tomorrow's round to go, the points table is: Evans Head 44, Casino RSM 38.5, Ballina 30, South Lismore 21, East Lismore 20.5, Alstonville 8.

Alstonville has had a season it will want to forget. The wooden spoon makes the side relegation material to No 2s next season.

Promoted to the top grade will be Lismore Workers Heights, unless Lennox Head can bring off a miracle in tomorrow's final round of the No 2s.

The two sides are in exactly the same position as the No 1 contenders ? Heights has a 5.5 point lead on Lennox Head.

For Lennox Head to win the flag and return to No 1s, Heights has to be clean-sheeted tomorrow by Lismore City while Lennox Head scores the maximum six points from Casino RSM.

Points to date: Lismore Workers Heights 35.5, Lennox Head 30, Lismore City 26.5, Ballina 25, South Lismore 24.5, Casino RSM 20.5.

Tomorrow's last round is academic in five of the lower grades.

Lennox Head (No 3s), Lismore Workers Heights (No 4s), Kyogle (No 5s), Nimbin (No 7As) and Lismore City (No 7Bs) have enough points to ensure they can't be beaten for the pennant.

The only lower grade in doubt is No 6s, a two-horse race in which South Lismore (35 points) has the wood on Lennox Head (30.5), a strangely similar situation to that in the two top grades.

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