Gazette Sport Preview: East Freo faces showdown to keep WAFL finals place, Cockburn chases win in final NPL WA clash, Cougars shooting for SBL grand final and Freo Hockey Club on a roll

Basketball (SBL)

THE Cockburn Cougars will have two cracks this weekend to secure its place in the grand final.

The Cougars claimed game one of its best of three semi final series with Geraldton last Saturday, an away game it won 100-96.

It means the Cougars, who finished the regular season as the competition’s best side, will have two chances in front of its home fans at Wally Hagan Stadium to earn a place in the showpiece event.

They will hoping to do it in one.

In a column for the SBL website, Rhett Della said the Cougars would be up for the challenge.

“We know we have a huge challenge awaiting us Saturday night. We will need to be at our absolute best,” he said.

“We will be back home, with our loyal supporters, the best fans in the league and we will do what we always aim to do: give everything for our club, make our supporters proud and leave it all out on the floor.”

Della, who turns 35 next month, said he was desperate to finish 2016 with the championship.

“One thing that eludes me and I so desperately crave is a championship,” he said.

“If winning a grand final was simply about wanting it the most or wanting it more, I would have a handful.

“Sadly it doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes the best teams don’t even win, you need a lot to go right, and you need some luck.

“After 15 years I know this as fact.”

Game two will be held at Wally Hagan Stadium tomorrow night, starting 7.30pm.

Wally Hagan Stadium will host game three, if needed, on Sunday at 12pm.

Football (WAFL)

EAST Fremantle will enter the final home and away match of the 2016 WAFL season simply needing a win over East Perth to secure a finals berth.

Lose and the opposition will leapfrog them into fifth place and the Sharks will be done.

The Sharks could have all but wrapped up their position in the finals with a win over Claremont last weekend.

Instead, they were crushed by 99 points.

Fortunately, South Fremantle was at Leederville Oval recording a slender four-point win over the Royals.

That result helped the Bulldogs lock up second place and kept the Sharks in the top five.

East Fremantle host East Perth at East Fremantle Oval tomorrow at 1.40pm.

South Fremantle play Perth at Lathlain Park at 2.15pm.

Hockey

The Fremantle Hockey Club premier men are fighting for finals as they approach the last two weeks of the regular season.

Currently in six, the Magpies need to force themselves into the top five to make the final series.

First on their hit list is the eighth-placed Old Guildfordians Mundaring Hockey Club (OGMHC), a win the Fremantle men will be confident of achieving despite a 3-1 loss to them earlier this season.

For Fremantle’s Promotion 1 women, a possible promotion to the league women competition next year is on the cards if they can finish the season in either first or second spot.

Currently four points clear of Hale on top of the ladder with two games to go, the women will be fighting to stay there when they take on fifth-placed Whitford this weekend.

Full of confidence with only two loses from their 19 games, which includes a 1-1 draw and a 5-1 win in their previous matches against Whitford, the game is gearing up to become the match of the round.

The league men will play OGMHC from 5pm August 27 at Guildford Turf, while the women take on Whitford from 4pm August 28 at HBF Arena.

Soccer (NPL WA)

Cockburn City will line up for its last game of the season against Floreat Athena tomorrow afternoon.

After a less than ideal season, having only notched four wins from 21 starts, Cockburn City will be looking to get some payback for its Cool Ridge Cup final loss and finish the season with a win.

It has been a tight arm-wrestle both times the teams have matched up this season, with a 1-1 draw in round 11 and a 1-0 win to Floreat Athena in the Cool Ridge Cup final.

The game will be at Dalmatinac Park from 3pm on August 27.