Ra'anana seals title with time to spare
Ra'anana continued its domination of the annual inter-club top level Premier League, with a fifth successive win to clinch the championship title before the completion of the final round next weekend.
Both Ra'anana's triple teams won against Haifa, their nearest challengers. Jeff Rabkin, skipping for Gerald Sacks and Denis Phillips, won against Haifa's Chaim Shefer, Yossi Greenberg and Jack Lief. But this was only after the latter trio had kept level for the first 12 heads to peel at 12-all before the Ra'anana trio surged through for their 21-12 win. Similarly, Raymond Sher, skipping for Ivan Kantor and Zvika Hadar, was only a single shot up after 13 ends (12-11) before their final spurt to win 20-13.
A six-point tally for the day's play gave Ra'anana a total 25 log points, leaving their nearest rivals Haifa and Ramat Gan on 13 each.
Ramat Gan came out well (also in the relegation and promotion system) to beat Savyon 5-1, mainly due to Micha Farkash's 19-16 win over Cecil Bransky (after 16-all with two heads to play), together with Rami Oron's 20-all peel with Savyon's Eli Iron, and that after trailing 17-8 at the 14th end. Oron in fact started the last head three shots up, for Savyon to get a three-count and a peel.
In the lower tier, Norman Panovka's Netanya team has also assured itself of the top log slot. Netanya is ahead of Jerusalem and due for promotion to next year's top level competition.
In the women's Premier division, Kiryat Ono is well entrenched in the top slot with 24 log-points, and only a final round turnabout could deny them the trophy. With a six-point lead over Ra'anana, both Kiryat Ono teams would have to be beaten by the lower-slotted Netanya side, while simultaneously Ra'anana would be recording both wins against Ramat Gan for Ra'anana to draw level on points for a decision on shot difference.
In the weekend rounds, Kiryat Ono won 4-2 against Ramat Gan, claiming the two bonus points by a single shot, when Ruthie Gilor's team beat Ramat Gan's Tami Kamzel 24-12,0 while Maya van Creveld lost 24-13 to Edna Zomberg. Ra'anana claimed its six points for the day when it won both its games against Netanya.
In the lower tier Savyon's Yael Bar Ner won 17-11 against Ra'anana's Louise Braverman, while Haifa's Jacquie Lieberthal won 30-15 against Ramat Hasharon's Lola Katz. Promotion here to the top league will be fought out next week's final round between log leaders Savyon and Haifa.