Saturday’s round 11 loss to the Orange Physiotherapy Vipers was a massive blow to Life Studio’s Orange Netball Association finals hopes, and the side now faces an uphill battle in its bid to earn a post-season berth.
The lime and navy bibs suffered a 39-29 defeat at the hands of the clinical, competition-leading Vipers, a loss that leaves them sitting fifth and four points adrift of the finals frame with just three weeks left in the regular season.
Life Studio has a tough run home in those three weeks too.
In the next fortnight the side faces two of the competition’s top four outfits in Hawks Royals and Orange City Newey’s Drive-Thru Cleaners, while the final round will be an inevitably hard-fought club derby against Life Studio Mid West Eyes.
In a potentially crucial twist of fate, the Lions are coming fourth.
The Orange City side is in form too after they took down OHS Hornets on Saturday, winning 50-24 to secure a second consecutive win since the competition resumed from its four-week break.
But the Lions have an equally tough run to the finals.
They also play two of the competition’s other top four sides in Orange City Craig Harvey Mechanical and Hawks Royals, which means there’s a big chance that round 13 encounter with Life Studio will play a decisive role in the make-up of the top flight’s post-season.
Orange City Craig Harvey Mechanical and Hawks Royals actually played each other last weekend, with the former side scoring a surprisingly big, 59-45 victory at Sir Neville Howse Stadium.
In Saturday’s other game Life Studio Mid West Eyes picked up a big win too, downing Hawks DVM 58-36 in the round’s final game.
It was Life Studio Mid West Eyes’ – the club’s second string side, a development outfit of sorts made up of younger players – second of the season, the last time they tasted success was over OHS Hornets way back in round five at the start of June.
Although the side, along with OHS and Hawks DVM, are now out of the running in terms of finals and the premiership, they’ll look to finish the season well and can also play a spoiling role.