The Western District Playing Area's division one weekend pennant season is heating up at the three-quarter mark of the season.
Nine rounds in and only two games separate fourth through to 11th. It's time to take a look at the league's top rinks so far.
1. City Memorial Red - Mathew Solly (s) 7-2 record
Reigning premier City Red, which is undefeated at the top of the table with a three-game buffer, is strong across the board with all three rinks featuring in the top-10.
Solly's rink - including his father Graeme Solly (third) and Wayne Hall (lead) and Gary Smart (second) - is unchanged from last season's premiership winning line-up.
Mathew himself missed round two this summer, with Neil Crisp stepping in as skip in a 19-17 victory over Timboon to maintain the rink's winning record, which is complemented by an eight-shot average winning margin.
2. Warrnambool Gold - Paul Cameron (s) 7-2 record
Second-year Warrnambool player Paul Cameron has been leading a well-oiled Gold rink consisting of Wayne Cooper (lead), Pat Kelly (second) and Mick Steel (third).
Cooper, who crossed from division one at Koroit, and Cameron, who has experience playing in Geelong's premier division, are well-versed in their positions, while Kelly and Steel are also long-time Warrnambool division one players.
Cameron has been on a roll in recent times, winning the club's singles championship last week.
Warrnambool Gold, which has only lost overall to teams in the top four, will be out to consolidate its top-two position (6-3) on the ladder after Christmas.
3. Dunkeld - Angus Jackson (s) 6-1-2 record
Alongside his trusty lieutenant Stephen Field (third) for another season, Jackson's rink has been regularly joined by Terry McDonnell (lead) and Jason Box (second) after a few departures saw a reshuffle among Dunkeld's rinks.
Jackson played with McDonnell a few years ago in division two, while Box returns to Dunkeld after a number of seasons off.
With not all going to plan at Dunkeld (4-5) compared to last season's grand final run, it's unknown if there could be any changes across the three rinks in the new year.
4. Koroit Blue - Peter Ellis (s) 6-2 record
Ellis' rink arguably has seen the most change to its line-up inside the top-10, with Graham Keane (lead) and Peter Daly (second/third) featuring the most. Teen Jack Quinlan, Brian Lenehan and Jeremy Ellis have also stepped in at times.
Round five saw a major shake up of Koroit's rinks, with Ellis returning to the third role he played throughout the 2021/22 season and his teammates scattered across different rinks before largely re-forming the following week.
5. City Memorial Red - Bryan Sheehan (s) 6-3 record
The second City Red side inside the top-10, with Sheehan's most regular line-up consisting of Julie Dosser (lead), Greg Ritchie (second) and Kevin Carlin (third).
Like Solly's rink, this is a similar line-up to last year's grand final, with Carlin coming in for Tom Spokes after playing in City Gold's side last season.
6. City Memorial Red - Vince Moloney (s) 6-3 record
Experienced skip Vince Moloney, who also played in City Gold's side last season, is back in City's top side and in strong form.
Working alongside Leigh Johnson (lead), Matthew Fleming (second) and Kevin O'Keeffe (third), Moloney has an established rink at his fingertips. The only change was in round seven with Moloney away and O'Keeffe taking on skipping duties in what was a win.
Moloney already has in-built chemistry with his teammates, with Johnson and Fleming forming part of his Gold rink at times last season.
7. Warrnambool Gold - Ben Cornick (s) 6-3 record
Another well-settled Warrnambool Gold rink with Cornick teaming up with Michael Edwards (lead), veteran Bill Tory (second) and 18-year-old Justin Cross (third) on a regular basis.
While Stephen Mitchell has filled in different roles on three occasions, the club won't be looking to change this rink anytime soon.
8. Mortlake Blue - Darren Grant (s) 5-1-3 record
On a different day, Grant's rink well and truly could have one of the best records. Along with Peter Beardsley (lead), Colin Inverarity (second) and Colin Goldsworthy (third), Grant's rink lost its three games by three shots or less while they drew with Steven Gibb's Port Fairy rink (a top-10 rink).
Mortlake, along with Koroit, sits on the cusp of a top four berth in the new year.
9. Dennington Jets - James Barling (s) 5-2-2 record
While the Jets rank towards the bottom of the ladder with a 3-6 record, Barling's rink stands out for its strong body of work in the team's first season back in division one.
The rink has seen a little bit of movement but recently settled on Shane Brooks (lead), Gayle Swanson (second) and Sheridan Barling (third).
10. Port Fairy Red - Steven Gibb (s) 5-1-3 record
Gibb leads top-four team Port Fairy's most successful rink despite a personnel change midway through the first nine rounds.
Ian Grayson (lead), Andrew Pink (second) and Simon Cullinane (third) made up the settled rink early on before Cullinane, who crossed to Port Fairy from Dunkeld this season, went on to skip another rink. Nick Seekamp more recently stepped into the role of third.
Along with his top-10 weekend rink, City Memorial skip Bryan Sheehan is leading the midweek division one competition's most in-form rink (7-2) with Diamonds teammates Jim Pallister (lead), Pauline Burleigh (second) and Greg Ritchie (third).
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