Hobart Lady Chargers 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 – Hobart v Kilsyth
Friday 7th August- 6:00pm @ Hobart Netball & Sports Centre
Top spot in the South Conference could be decided at the conclusion of this match as first placed Kilsyth Lady Cobras visit second placed Hobart Lady Chargers.
Having played two less games than Hobart but just a game ahead on the ladder, Kilsyth missed an opportunity to gain some breathing space with a loss to fourth placed Bendigo last weekend.
Trailing by six at half-time, the Lady Cobras shot 1-17 in a horrendous third quarter and then almost pulled off a miracle comeback to lose by just 1 after a 21-7 final term.
Following that defeat, Hobart had a chance to grab first place after taking care of Sandringham on Friday. Bendigo was once again the team standing in the way though, prevailing by eight points.
Unless disaster strikes for the visitors this weekend, they should retain the head-to-head advantage regardless of the result after a 19-point victory over Hobart in Round 3. In that clash, Kilsyth owned the glass with nine more offensive rebounds and 14 more total boards with Sarah Parsons (23 points and 10 rebounds), Steph Cumming (20 points) and Cassie Sant (20) all starring.
From Hobart, Amy Kame proved dangerous with a game-high 29 points on 12-30 shooting. A more efficient night from her, combined with Klara Wischer and Kathleen Scheer’s front court abilities will ensure a close match but the Lady Cobras have not lost two games in a row all season and have a strong 6-2 road record.
Prediction: Kilsyth by 2
Friday 7th August –
Dandenong v Albury-Wodonga
Top faces bottom in the East Conference but with first place sewn up after a win over Ballarat last weekend, Dandenong may be in preservation mode ahead of the finals. Leading by six at three-quarter time against Frankston, the Lady Bandits showed heart before falling away in the final term. They will be looking to improve on that area of their game as well as overcoming their 49-point loss to the Rangers from Round 12.
Saturday 8th August –
Brisbane v Geelong
Geelong may have saved second spot in the East last Sunday, requiring double overtime to get past Nunawading and arrest a three-game losing streak. Third placed Brisbane took care of Canberra and would close within a win of Geelong if they are victorious but their eight-point loss from Round 7 will also be of concern as both teams fight for a top two finish.
Frankston v Bendigo
Coming good at the right time of the year, Bendigo has moved to 13-7 on a six-game winning streak and is now threatening Launceston for third spot in the South. Frankston is also finishing the season strongly, taking their run to four straight victories. They have won their past two at home but the Lady Braves’ intimidating 8-2 road record is the best in the conference.
Albury-Wodonga v Sandringham
With just two wins apiece this year, both teams will be desperate to record a victory as their final games are both against current finalists. Meeting just a fortnight ago, the Sabres used a 26-18 opening quarter to win by nine while out-scoring the Lady Bandits by 15 from the three-point line. Brittany Smart (23 points, 19 rebounds, five assists, four steals, two blocks) had her fingerprints all over the contest but Kristina Baltic’s good form should give the home side the front court advantage after seven straight double-doubles.
Ballarat v Nunawading
Fighting tooth and nail last weekend, the Spectres got no reward for effort as they fell to Launceston by three and Geelong in double-overtime. Owning the head-to-head advantage against Brisbane still gives them a shot at regaining third place in the East but the Rush have won three of their past four games at home while Nunawading have not been successful on the road in over a month.
Launceston v Kilsyth
Two losses this weekend for Kilsyth would put them in danger of dropping to third and after Bendigo have been the only team to sweep the Tasmanian road trip this season, the Lady Cobras will have their work cut out for them. Launceston used a 38-16 second half to beat Nunawading last weekend and now have a full strength side with the return of Emilee Harmon to make one final assault on the South Conference top two.