Western Phantoms strive to keep finals hopes alive

CRUNCH TIME: Western Phantoms' reserves men and division two women face important clashes on Saturday. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

CRUNCH TIME: Western Phantoms' reserves men and division two women face important clashes on Saturday. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

WESTERN Phantoms' reserves men and division two women face pivotal clashes tomorrow as they strive to keep their finals hopes alive.

The reserves men will play Heidelberg, while the division two women will take on top-of-the-ladder Eastside Hawks Red.

Phantoms' premier division men, reserves women and division two men all have byes.

The reserves men are sit sixth on the ladder, while Heidelberg is fifth.

With fourth-placed Eastside Hawks facing a tough game against Southern Cross Cobras, the winner of tomorrow's game could find itself in the top four at the end of the round.

Phantoms head coach David Berry said the team was capable of a big win.

"Heidelberg is a very young side and got beaten in five sets by Yarra Ranges," he said.

"They've got some good talent, but I think the experience we've got should be able to overcome them."

Matthew Berry and Ashby Smith will drop back from the premier team to bolster the reserves ranks.

Berry said Tim Popple's inclusion would also be a key.

"Whenever Tim is in the team they seem to play well. That was evident at the weekend when we played in Mildura," he said.

"He played on the Saturday and they won in straight sets, and he missed the Sunday game and they lost in straight sets."

The division two women will be tested by Eastside Hawks Red, which has only lost once this year.

The team will also be bolstered by higher division players such as Siobhan Robinson, Kara Johnson and Becky Schmidt.

Berry said the experience many of the team members gained at the weekend's Victorian country championships in Leongatha would serve them well.

"They should be going into it with a fair bit of confidence," he said.

"It wouldn't surprise me if they did do well because a lot of the Melbourne teams are coming off a two-week break.

"If they can catch them early, they might be in with a show."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop