Saturday 15th July – 6:00pm @ WIN Minerdome

Virtually nothing separates third from fifth in the SEABL women’s championship at the moment. 

Ballarat have battled through some tough times early on this year and now look poised to make a real charge over the remaining games this season. Chloe Kerr has added a frontcourt presence, while their other late-season addition Natalie Taylor hasn’t taken long to find her role in the team, winning the Player of the Week in round 14. However, the Rush also face one of the toughest runs home – in their remaining six games they take on playoff teams on four occasions. With also the least amount of games in hand of the top six teams, Ballart must defeat the Lady Cobras in order to give themselves a shot at a top four spot and home court advantage in the first week of the playoffs.

In complete contrast to Ballarat, Kilsyth have one of the most favourable runs home. Of their remaining seven games, the Lady Cobras play top 6 teams only twice. Kilsyth also welcome back Abby Bishop from Uni Games camp, and head coach Cheryl Chambers will be looking to get the full strength team settled over the remaining games this year. However, the Lady Cobras have looked a touch vulnerable in recent weeks, with unconvincing wins over Brisbane and Albury/Wodonga. But Kilsyth were triumphant when these teams met back in round 11, so they must be confident in knowing they had Ballarat’s measure when they last met.

Kilsyth, Bendigo and Ballarat have all won four of the last five, and all teams are just as good at home as they are on the road, while less than three percentage points also separates the teams. The Lady Cobras hold onto third spot only by virtue of having 13 wins compared to Ballarat and Bendigo’s 12. With effectively nothing separating the teams, the games between the three become of paramount importance in terms of win-loss and head-to-head differential.

Prediction: Ballarat by 6.

Saturday 16th July – 8:00pm

The Miners host the Cobras in what is a hugely significant game in the context of the season and final playoff standings in the East conference. These teams sit third and fourth on the ladder respectively, and both teams are on 10 wins from 19 games with less than a single percentage point between them. And with Dandenong breathing down their necks on 9 wins, the loser will be battling to stay in the top four while the winner can take a big step towards insuring their playoff ticket. Adding more intrigue to the contest is the fact that when these teams last met at Kilsyth in round 11, the Miners came away with a last-gasp 1-point win after a tip in at the buzzer, so there is basically nothing between the teams in head-to-head. With so much to play for, this is sure to be a classic at the Minerdome on Saturday night.