The last finals spot in Geraldton men’s cricket will go down to the wire, with three teams still in the hunt.
Showing how tight competition has been this season, either Chapman Valley-Northampton, Bluff Point or Sportsmans will find out on Saturday if they are playing second-placed Wanderers for a spot in the big dance against Towns.
CVN have the strongest claim, on 72.88 points, but Bluff Point (70.40) and Sportsmans (66.89) are close behind them and the outcome will not be known until the end of play on Saturday.
Towns have a game still to play but are minor premiers and automatic grand finalists.
CVN and Sportsmans will meet at Nabawa in a clash of finals rivals.
Given the narrow margins on the table, a win for CVN would surely be enough to edge them into playoffs, all else being equal.
The rider is a CVN win with minimal batting and bowling bonus points could hurt them if Bluff Point win handsomely at Muir Park against Towns. It’s highly unlikely, but a mathematical chance.
A win for Sporties should provide enough fat to safely finish higher than CVN.
They’d still need Towns to beat Bluff Point, as in that scenario a Pointers win would mean they make the cut.
Sportsmans captain Riley Barham said the situation was not ideal but he was pleased his side was still in the frame.
“It’s a great opportunity to play under pressure tomorrow and it’s been that way for the past month with three teams in the hunt, which is good for the comp,” Barham said.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been in the position we are, but we’ve enjoyed sustained success and that can’t last forever.
“But for the future, David Russell showed last week he belongs in A-grade and we still have match winners in (Clint) Yeates, (Jarrod) Jupp and (Aaron) McAuliffe if he plays again.”
In B-grade, Dongara, Wanderers and Towns have qualified for finals, leaving one spot open.
The decider will be CVN versus Bluff Point at at GBSC2, where the winner will advance.
Mathematically, Sportsmans could steal it but they would have to beat Towns at Wonthella and for CVN and Bluff Point to tie.
That won’t happen.
In the other game, Dongara and Wanderers meet at GBSC1 in a top-of-the-table clash.