Division 3 v Sebastopol Ballan’s chances of qualifying for the postseason have increased in difficulty after an upset 23-shot loss to Sebastopol. Fellow finals contender Webbcona, captured enough points in Round 17 to claim fourth place and remain eight-points clear of Ballan leading into the last game of the regular season.
Webbcona only needs 11-points in their encounter with Sebastopol to clinch the final playoff spot, while Ballan will need to gain as many points as possible against the ladder leading Ballarat Memorial Sports to have any hope of leaping into the top four. Ballan skipper Brad Coffey said the 111-88 defeat will provide motivation to emerge victorious in a “winner-take-all” match on Saturday.
“It’s now or never and we’re not taking this task lightly.” Coffey said, “We have show that we are a finals contender throughout the season and this will essentially be a playoff game so, it’s the perfect preparation if we progress past this week.” David O’Hanlon made it three successive wins with a one-shot triumph in an evenly contested battle, while David Myers emerged victorious by 11-shots. Coffey and Neville Smith were the two rinks to suffer defeat on the day, going down by five and 30-shots respectively. Division 9 v Learmonth Ballan has extended their winning streak to three games as they defeated Learmonth by 11-shots. The 76-65 win was enough to ensure that Ballan will face Victoria in the first semi-final on 3 March. Ballan needs to claim only one-point in their Round 18 encounter with North Ballarat to clinch the Division Nine minor premiership. Ballan manager Eddy Pitcher said carrying momentum into the postseason is vital.
“The minor premiership is a nice reward for a consistent season, but we have our sights set on a final home and away game with North Ballarat.” Pitcher said, “We will aim to use that game to test out some strategies and game plans ahead of the double chance semi-final.” Alan Love was the only rink to secure a win on the day with a 12-shot success, while Charlie Farrugia had drawn game and Paul McNaughton lost by oneshot.