Matches that matter – Round 18
With round 18 here we look at the matches that will have a big impact on the upcoming finals series across the 10 grades in the Alinta Energy Gippsland League. For some grades like A Grade netball, the seeds are set and ready to go for week one of the finals. In other grades like the Thirds football, there is a log jam of teams looking for the double chance and to simply secure finals action. Let’s take a look at the key games that could shape destiny’s for September.
Four spots are locked in and one remains. While Sale and Wonthaggi Power may shuffle between second and third with percentage playing a part, both sides are set for the Qualifying Final win lose or draw. The matches that matter come for Maffra and Morwell as they battle it out for fifth place. Maffra’s remarkable come from behind win over the Tiger’s in Round 15 has set the stage for the final round. Both sides are tied at 36 points each however the Eagles boast a far greater percentage. Sale awaits Morwell at home while the Eagles are on the road at Traralgon. Both sides will go in as underdogs and if the matches play out to form the Eagles may slip in even if they lose in Round 18 to keep a remarkable finals streak going that has spanned over 20 years.
The Thirds ladder is the most complicated scenario of the weekend. The scene is set with three sides on 44 points and sixth place Traralgon on 40 points. Drouin sit third on 44 points and a percentage of 133 and with Leongatha on the schedule they will be confident to hold the top 3 spot. Bairnsdale sit fourth on 44 points and a percentage of 129, which will be adjusted at seasons end after a forfeit from Wonthaggi last week. They take on second place Warragul who are on 48 points with a percentage of 198, which will also be adjusted after Round 18 due to their forfeit against Traralgon earlier in the season. Moe sit fifth on 44 points with a percentage of 91 and Traralgon sit fifth with a percentage of 129 on 40 points. The Lions have a favorable draw with ninth placed Wonthaggi on the schedule. A win secures their place in finals. The Maroons are the unlucky one with first place Maffra on the schedule and a game to make up. They are capable of winning the match which may throw up all sorts of scenarios. If they miss it will likely be with a percentage of over 120 which would be an incredible scenario. In summary, anything could happen come 1pm on Saturday.
B GRADE NETBALL
This one is a simple scenario. Traralgon and Maffra are starting finals a week early with the winner to book a double chance for finals. A draw would see Traralgon through with the greater percentage. Both sides sit locked on 13 wins and 52 points. Morwell drop off to 6 wins in fifth place.
15 & UNDER NETBALL
Traralgon and Maffra are again in the headlines and their 15 & Under grades also hit finals a week early with the minor premiership up for grabs. The Eagles sit 2 points ahead in top spot with 15 wins and a draw this season. The Maroons have a far greater percentage over 100% higher than Maffra but have dropped two matches so far this season. Winner gets the week off and avoids a sale side only one game back in third.
Sixth place Bairnsdale sit one game behind Morwell in fifth but have 20% better on their percentage. The Red Legs play the last place Gulls in Round 18 while Morwell take on third place Sale that have only lost three games for the year. This could be one where the Red Legs jump in and get to take on Leongatha in the Elimination Final next weekend.