To be or not to be: will YOUR team make finals?
With just two games to play of the GBA regular season, it is clear that we have a number of certainties across the senior grades – although there remain other likelihoods, some possibilities and even a few long shots that may keep us guessing until the very last pitch of the final round.
With games to come against Deakin and Saints, Bellarine (twelve wins, five losses) and Saints (ten and five, with a draw) appear likely to finish top two.
If Bellarine win one game (against Deakin) and Saints win both (against Guild and Bellarine), then the two leaders would share a winning percentage of 0.684. Saints would move to top, on head-to-head. If Bellarine lost both and Saints won one (over Bellarine), then Saints would go to top.
Currently third and with games to come against Saints and Lara, Guild (9-8-1) cannot hope to earn a double chance unless they win both and Saints lose both – which would still appear to leave Guild just short, by .003 (though this would need to be audited by GBA Executive).
Deakin (5-11-1) cannot make the post-season, even it wins both games against Bellarine and the Royals, who can mathematically still sneak into fourth. To do so, the Royals (6-11) would have to win both games – against Lara and Deakin – while Lara (7-9-2) would need to lose to both the Royals and Deakin. If that were to happen, the Ballarat team would edge in with a winning percentage of 0.421 to 0.400.
Prediction for final four: Bellarine, Saints, Guild, Lara
Guild (10-4-1) and Royals (9-5) appear assured of a double chance, although the Royals could slip to third if they lost both games to Lara (3-12) and Deakin, both of whom the Royals have already beaten twice, and if Bellarine (7-6-1) has wins over Deakin and Saints.
Fourth at the moment, Deakin (7-7) looks likely to retain that spot. However, if the Blues lost to Bellarine and Royals – who are both above them on the ladder – then Saints (6-8) could be a chance with tough games to come against Guild and Bellarine. If Saints won both of those games, and Deakin lost both, then the haloes would make the finals. If Deakin lost two and Saints won one, then Saints would qualify on head to head. If Deakin won one and Saints won both, Saints would get in.
Prediction for final four: Guild, Royals, Bellarine, Saints
While we know that Corio (12-2), Sunshine (11-2-1), Alfredton (8-2-1) and Colac (10-3) have all qualified for post-season in this grade, there are still potential changes in the finishing order. The top two may stay as they are, but if Sunshine loses to Corio and Colac wins both of its games – against Newport and Bacchus Marsh - then the Braves would be challenging for second.
Alternatively, if Alfredton beats both Corio and Saints, then the Eagles of the Ballarat variety could still make second if Corio beat Sunshine. If Corio happened to slip up and somehow lose both of its games, the Tigers could drop to third if Alfredton won both.
Prediction for final four: Corio, Colac, Sunshine, Alfredton
The dreaded bye may have an impact in this grade to the detriment of Saints Black (6-5), which is sitting fourth by a whisker at the moment and has just one game to come – against Corio on Saturday.
Titans (8-2) and Corio (9-3) appear likely to secure the double chance, although third-placed Bellarine (8-4) would make it interesting should they beat the Titans this Saturday, with a final round clash against lowly Ballarat Royals to come. On form, Deakin (7-6) should be able to sneak into the post-season as it is scheduled to meet Royals and Guild – which between them have just eight wins for the season.
Prediction for final four: Titans, Corio, Bellarine, Deakin
Corio (12-0-1) will finish on top of the C Grade standings, whatever the outcome of its games to come against Deakin (6-6-1) and Bellarine Red (4-8), while Lara (9-3-1) and Royals (9-4) are engaged in a shootout for second placing. Both should be able to win this weekend, setting up a last-round encounter between the Wildcats and Royals that will be the deciding factor.
Currently fourth, Deakin needs a win against either Corio or Saints to hold fourth. If the Blues lose both games (to Corio and Saints) and Colac (5-9) beats both Lara and Bellarine Blue, then the Braves would qualify for finals action on a skinny winning percentage edge.
Prediction for final four: Corio, Lara, Royals, Deakin
Confused yet? I am. So putting your hard-earned on any of these prognostications may not be a sound investment – especially if there are other possibilities or other imponderables that may come into play. Such as drawn games or washouts.....or protests!
With teams unable to make the post-season surely looking to finish their winter campaign on a high, only the bleeding obvious can be taken for granted as we play out the final fortnight of another fascinating season at all senior levels. Weather prospects are promising for this weekend – let us hope that we can negotiate the rest of the regular season without intervention by the elements!