Brisbane Lady Spartans and Kilsyth Lady Cobras go head-to-head in our game of the week, plus we preview every match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Brisbane v Kilsyth
Saturday 25th July- 5:15pm @ Rowland Cowan Stadium
The Brisbane Lady Spartans have moved to third in the East Conference but are still seeking to regain their Championship form from last season while the Kilsyth Lady Cobras could be the team to beat this year after regaining top spot in the South Conference.
With two wins from their past three matches, Brisbane has overtaken Nunawading on the ladder and has a chance to take second from Geelong with a fast finish to the regular season. Those two recent victories were against Canberra and Albury-Wodonga however and the loss in between was to Kilsyth.
That victory for the Lady Cobras was part of a current four-game winning streak which was punctuated by a 122-62 thumping of the Lady Bandits last weekend.
In the Round 13 meeting with Brisbane, Kilsyth were seven-point victors with Chantella Perera (27 points, 14 rebounds and three assists) having her best game of the season. Odette Andrew will look to shut her down this weekend but they will have to cover Steph Cumming in the back court as well.
Under the rim, Cassie Sant was the dominant forward but the 250+ games experience of Holly Smith and Emma McDonald helped keep the Lady Spartans in the contest.
With a 4-4 home record this year, Brisbane would love to get a scalp in front of their fans but Kilsyth’s range of scoring options puts them in the driver’s seat as they look to consolidate top spot.
Prediction: Kilsyth by 8
Friday 24th July –
Hobart v Nunawading
There was just two points in it when Hobart fell to Bendigo last weekend but it was enough to drop them to second spot in the South Conference. Nunawading had four players reach double figures but were beaten soundly by Dandenong last round and will also have to contend with their 11-point loss to the Lady Chargers from a fortnight ago as their finals credentials begin to look shaky.
Saturday 25th July –
Bendigo v Canberra
Sweeping the Tassie road trip, Bendigo was highly impressive last round and now own a 7-2 road record. They are still a chance to grab a home final but may not want one as their record at Bendigo Stadium is 3-5. Canberra made the score line respectable against Brisbane last weekend with a 20-8 final term but were trounced by the Lady Braves in Round 11 on the back of a 19-47 second half.
Ballarat v Albury-Wodonga
The Lady Bandits fought hard against Frankston last weekend but playing three teenagers against Kilsyth the following day put them under the pump. Ballarat are coming off a bye and cannot afford a loss if they are to make the playoffs as they sit four games back with five to play. However, they did fall to Albury-Wodonga by 17 points in Round 6.
Geelong v Dandenong
Geelong’s chances for a first place finish in the East Conference took a severe hit in Round 13 with two road losses but they will be happy to be back at home where they are 7-1. The Rangers sent a message with a sound beating of Nunawading and if they can emulate their ten-point win over the Lady Supercats from earlier in the year, top spot will be sewn up.
Sunday 26th July –
Frankston v Ballarat
Back-to-back victories last weekend has kept Frankston in the South Conference top four race but they will need to rely on teams above them losing unexpectedly to make it. A week’s break will help them against the Rush who will be playing the second night of a double-header while Kelly Bowen’s recent form is also a concern for the visitors as she is averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals in her past three games.
Nunawading v Canberra
A day’s break in between games will help Nunawading as they return home from Tasmania to host Canberra who will make the two-hour trek from Bendigo. The Spectres were comfortable 20-point victors in Round 7 but with the World University Games over, the return of Steph Talbot could swing the odds in the visitors favour and keep Nunawading winless at home since mid-June.
Sandringham v Albury-Wodonga
This is a strong chance for both teams to pick up a rare win this season as the two conference’s bottom teams battle it out. The Sabres will be looking to carry over their form from last weekend when they got within two points of Frankston behind Brittany Smart’s 33 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. Ashton Eaton will likely have the job on Smart with 100+ SEABL games experience on her side.