1 Forestville is under the pump
The Eagles dropped both their games – to North Adelaide and Southern Tigers – over the double-header weekend to drift two wins back from the five. Forestville now needs to win its last two games and rely on West Adelaide dropping both of its remaining fixtures. The Eagles can inflict one of those defeats when they host the Bearcats this weekend. Not only must they win but by five points or more to claim the head-to-head between the sides. West won 95-91 at Port Adelaide in an overtime thriller in May. If Forestville wins by five or more it would then need a win over Woodville in the last round and for the Bearcats to fall against North Adelaide.
2 There is something about Central v West clashes
Not for the first time this season, Central Districts frustrated West Adelaide on Sunday. The Lions looked like they were going to throw a spanner in the Bearcats’ top-five ambitions when they started the game with a 24-6 opening period to hold sway by 18 points. It took West until midway through the fourth period to gain the lead for good. Dee Oldham was sensational, dropping 46 points and collecting eight rebounds. The result followed Centrals toppling the Bearcats earlier in the season at Port Adelaide. West – if they make the finals themselves – will be glad the Lions are nowhere to be seen.
3 Well that was fun
North Adelaide and South Adelaide put on an end-to-end show on Sunday. The Rockets and Panthers combined to score a season-high 228 points as North ran out 12-point winners at Hillcrest. It was a high-quality affair with the Rockets shooting at 54 per cent and Panthers making half of their shots. Both sides went at 31 per cent from three-point range. Eian Davis was the game’s highest scorer with 37 points for South, while Caleb Davis added 31. Darcy Aistrope had a team-high 27 for North. Three other Rockets scored 20-plus points in the entertaining contest.
1 Norwood vs Sturt this weekend will be a cracker
Norwood welcomes Sturt to Campbelltown this weekend in a huge encounter. The Flames dropped two games on the weekend – both against premiership contenders – and will be keen to bounce back to form entering the finals. The Sabres though are playing for their spot in the top five and with a win over Norwood can stay in control of their fate. Sturt enters the weekend a win clear of Forestville, which has West Adelaide and Woodville in the final fortnight of the season. If the Sabres beat Norwood they must then only account for ninth-ranked South Adelaide to end a two-year absence from the finals.
2 The Southern Tigers can make a statement in the next fortnight
Emphatic wins over Norwood and Forestville has Southern purring towards the minor premiership. But the Tigers must still overcome two big hurdles in the run home with North Adelaide at home this weekend ahead of a visit to Eastern Mavericks in the final round. If Southern can overcome both they will have beaten four teams in the finals race – including their three nearest rivals on the ladder – to finish the season. It is the kind of red-hot form that would make it hard to pick anyone other than the Tigers for this season’s women’s crown.
3 Poise matters more now than it has all season
It is the business end of the Premier League campaign and soon we will be watching cut-throat finals. Every play will be important but those in the final 10 minutes could make or break a team’s season. On the weekend North Adelaide showed poise to edge Forestville in a three-point thriller. Jo Hill showed her experience down the stretch to help the Rockets pull of the win. Hill scored 12 of North's 19 final period points – including the final three from the line to ice the game – in a telling performance. Who is going to stand tall for your team in the run home?