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The Hornby Panthers are “itching” to get back on the field for Saturday’s qualifying final against the Linwood Keas after a one week break.
They will meet at Hornby’s home ground,
Leslie Park, at 2.45pm in what will be their fourth encounter this season. Hornby emerged victorious in the last two 42-28 and 16-8.
Hornby have already claimed the Massetti Cup, and will be looking to repeat their 2021 success by winning the Pat Smith Memorial Trophy as well.
Hornby head coach Jed Lawrie said last week’s break between round robin and playoffs was “not ideal” but the Panthers know what they need to do to beat the Keas again.
“Our completion rate was really good (last time we played Linwood) and we finished a lot of our opportunities,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on defence – and defending wins a game of footy.
“We’ve just got to convert those big moments.”
The Panthers have taken a very different road to the playoffs this season compared to last year when they finished fourth but still managed to progress to the final.
This will give the Eastern Eagles and Halswell Hornets belief they can do the same this season.
The Hornets host the Eagles in the elimination final on Saturday two weeks after beating them 16-14.
Eight teams have already qualified for the playoffs as the Canterbury Premier League heads into the last round on Saturday.
In the women’s grade, Carlton Redcliffs and Marist face off for the Hinemoa Cup before they meet in the qualifying final next weekend. Carlton lead the table on 27 points and are yet to lose a game, while Marist sit a point behind them.
Harewood are expected to cement third-place with a win over Southern on Saturday.
Winless Southern are in seventh, having conceded 65 goals this season and scored just one.
Fourth-placed HSOB/Burnside take on Hornby ahead of next week’s elimination final against Harewood, while Avon have a bye.
The same four teams have confirmed their playoff spots in the men’s competition, but the final standings will be decided on Saturday.
HSOB/Burnside and Carlton Redcliffs are in contention for the President’s Trophy when they take on Hornby and Marist respectively.
Table leaders HSOB/Burnside will be favourites to take out the trophy with a win over the fifth-placed Hornby.
Harewood can overtake third-placed Marist with a convincing win against Southern, while Avon play University.
A strong last quarter saw UC A hand Lincoln University A their second loss of the year, as four teams confirmed their place in the semi-finals ahead of the last round on Tuesday.
Trailing 41-44 in the third quarter, UC A outscored Lincoln University A 13-9 in the last quarter to win 54-53 and shoot into second on the table. UC are expected to finish at the top of the table if they pick up a large win over Kia Toa A in the last week of the championship round.
While their loss saw Lincoln University A drop to fourth with 17 points, they have qualified for the semi-finals and can climb to at least third with a win over Lincoln University B.
A poor second half from Lincoln University B against table leaders Kereru A saw them drop out of playoff contention with a 62-43 loss.
For Kereru A, a win against Technical A could see them claim top spot heading into the finals.
However, Technical A will be confident after their 59-33 win over Kereru B.
Kereru B face winless Hearts St Peters A. After a promising first round, the last six games have been difficult for Saints, which was capped off by a 42-29 loss to Kia Toa A on Tuesday.
• Kia Toa A 42 (C Corbett 29/32, F Laikong 6/11, R Petero 7/9) def Hearts St Peters A 29 (T Dunn 18/23, S Manning 6/12,
J Reuben 5/7). Qtrs: 12-9, 23-16, 30-24, 42-29.
• Kereru A 62 (L Clark, 37/46, J Wolfgramm 11/16, H Tallentire 7/9, S Adams 7/10) def Lincoln University B 43 (A Guard 32/38, J Riordan 10/16, E Wilke 1/8). Qtrs: 15-14, 31-23, 48-34, 62-43.
• UC A 54 (V Koloto 37/39, T Rollo 17/24) def Lincoln University A 53 (K Grant 41/46, T Day 12/14). Qtrs: 18-12, 32-28, 41-44, 54-53.
• Technical A 59 (O Wilkie 40/52, A Hendry 17/18, M Kay 2/9) def Kereru B 33 (F Ross 15/21, S Cusak 14/18, G Nicholls 4/9). Qtrs: 15-10, 26-17, 39-25, 59-33.
For Cashmere Technical, Saturday’s clash against Selwyn United will be an opportunity to get back to winning ways after a slump in form over the past month.
Despite their 7-0 win against Green Island on July 1, Technical have produced a series of disappointing results of late.
They lost the Hurley Challenge Shield for the first time this year with a 3-2 loss to Coastal Spirit and were lucky to avoid a 1-1 draw with Nomads two weeks ago when the game was called off after 63 minutes due to bad weather. Although Selwyn are ninth on the table with 10 points, they will be confident after beating FC Twenty 11 3-2 in their last match on July 21.
Table leaders Christchurch United host Ferrymead Bays tomorrow after their 3-0 Chatham Cup win over Hamilton Wanderers last weekend. Nomads take on Green Island following their 1-1 draw with
Dunedin City Royals in a catch-up match. FC Twenty 11 meet Dunedin City Royals on Saturday, while Coastal will look to edge closer to Technical on the standings by beating Nelson Suburbs on Sunday.