Queensland has the boys’ Junior Interstate Series fate in its hands after a dominant day at Ulverstone.
A tension-filled halved match between New South Wales and surprise packet South Australia left the states tied second with 4.5 points, only half a point behind the young Maroons.
But both states are far enough back in terms of individual matches won that Queensland will win overall should it halve its critical final-round match against Victoria tomorrow.
The Queenslanders (5-1) overpowered Tasmania 5-0 in the afternoon following a 3.5-1.5 win over old rival New South Wales in the morning.
Victoria looms as the wildcard after fighting back on day three with wins over Western Australia and the ACT today to draw level with WA at 4-2.
Both Victoria and WA could mathematically win, but would need to win 5-0 tomorrow and have a series of other results fall their way, with South Australia’s great form making that particularly unlikely.
Tasmania and ACT face each other tomorrow and are tied sixth with 1-5 records, one game clear of the winless Northern Territory, SA’s final-round opponent.
South Australia and NSW played a tremendous match that ebbed and flowed throughout a tense afternoon.
It wasn’t until the No.1 match between in-form pair Jay McKenzie (NSW) and Lachlan Barker (SA) was halved on the final green that the marbles really fell Queenlsand’s way with the combatants unable to be split at 2.5 matches each.
The final round will be played on Friday morning.