It's all down to this

Andrew Groves takes a look at the permutations across the next two Saturdays............






Expect some thrills and spills over the next two weekends.

The last two-dayer of the season is sure to throw up some exciting moments of high tension with a bunch of sides jostling it out for the final place in the top eight.

Currently nine teams are involved in the Battle Royale, the 2012/13 campaign proving to be a real nail-biter with 16 points separating Casey-South Melbourne in twelfth and St Kilda in fourth.

One of those in danger of missing the cut is Dandenong.

The Panthers are currently sitting tenth, three points behind Fitzroy Doncaster.chasemore_qf_lscpe

Defending Premiers Richmond travel south-east tomorrow, the Tigers a side also not guaranteed a Quarter Final place.

The re-run of last year’s Premier Final will be an intriguing one. Panthers’ captain Tom Donnell is priming his troops for battle.

“We just need to go out there and play with a free spirit and try to get the win,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a shame we’ve had to wait until the last round to play them at home, but that doesn’t matter now.

“Obviously they are going to be up for the game. They gave us a bit of a touch up in the Grand Final last year and will be wanting to get there again. We'll be looking to try and make amends for that day.

“Looking at the other sides who are also in with a chance, they are playing teams below them on the table. Obviously we’ve mucked up a bit because we are now in this position.

“But we can’t think too much about them. We’ve just got to concentrate on our own game and hopefully put in a good performance.”

Donnell will be keeping a key eye on the Tigers’ line up tomorrow to see if a few Vic stars sneak into their batting order.

As for his side, he feels he has the quality there to cause some damage.

“Nathan Lambden will come back in for us,” he added.web_fletcher

“We’ll have to see who they will have in. Will Sheridan isn’t playing, that’s the word on the street. Patto said Whitey wasn’t playing but you never know.”

Elsewhere, Frankston Peninsula has an uphill battle against runaway train Melbourne in a tricky encounter at the Albert Ground.

Heat captain Matty Chasemore will be looking to celebrate his 200th Premier match with the victory his side needs to secure a place in the mix.

St Kilda is in the strongest position to join Ringwood, Prahran and the Demons in the finals as they sit fourth in the ladder.

The Saints, however, will be looking for a much better performance this week at home to the Rams after a outright defeat to Geelong last round. The match sees veteran Damon Rowan don the Saints' gear for the 250th time. He sits just behind the all-time record holder for the club, Norm Lynch (252).

The Cats still have an outside chance of making the eight. They travel to Northcote.

Casey-South Melbourne will be looking for an outright and hoping other results go their way when they travel to Footscray Edgewater.

An intriguing battle will take place at Princes Park where home side Carlton will take on a rejuvenated North Melbourne.

The Blues are also out of the eight after last week’s performance against the Heat and sit in a similar position to Dandenong, just out of reach of Fitzroy Doncaster.

Lloyd Mash’s Lions have been hard at work indoors this week ahead of a trip to Camberwell Magpies.

Melbourne University know their fate is in their own hands at home to Essendon. The Students sit sixth and will be looking to consolidate their position over the next two weekends. Former Bombers' stalwart Ben Fletcher will celebrate his 200th Premier match.

Hawthorn-Monash University will be looking for some late season cheer when they take on Prahran at Monash Uni.

Whereas Telstra was the winner in other years with the phone-calls around all venues, most clubs will not be far from the twitter frenzy likely for Round 19.

Victorian Premier Cricket
Ladder after R18
              Pts (Aver)
Melbourne      73 (1.731)
Prahran        70 (1.281)web_rowan_drives_sf
Ringwood       65 (1.295)
St Kilda       57 (1.322)
Frank Pen      54 (1.063)
Melb Uni       53 (1.093)
Richmond       51 (1.577)
Fitzroy Donc   50 (1.165)
Carlton        49 (1.034)
Dandenong      47 (1.252)
Geelong        44.9 (0.919)
Casey-SM       41 (0.808)
Foot Edge      33 (0.981)
Camb Mag       31.8 (0.775)
North Melb     32 (0.784)
Haw-Mon Uni    18 (0.662)
Essendon       12 (0.637)
Northcote       9 (0.520)


At Monash Uni
Umpires: D Herft & R Patterson

At the Albert Ground
Umpires: M Hanton & A Sammartino

At Princes Park, Carlton
Umpires: S Davis & P Gillespie

At Junction Oval
Umpires: D Bomford & R McKinnon

At Camberwell
Umpires: M Cervetto & D Ireland

At Shepley Oval
Umpires: S Craig & W Sheahan

At Merv Hughes Oval
Umpires: R Birch & F Fabris

At Melbourne Uni
Umpires: B Davies & S Sciacca

At Bill Lawry Oval
Umpires: C Allan & D Shepard

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