Gazette sport preview: Lakeside women aim to keep pressure on leaders in SBL, Sharks hope to bounce back from derby humiliation plus soccer and hockey

East Fremantle’s Ryan Lester-Smith avoids a South Fremantle tackle at last week’s derby. Picture: Phil Elliott/ PixEll Photography
East Fremantle’s Ryan Lester-Smith avoids a South Fremantle tackle at last week’s derby. Picture: Phil Elliott/ PixEll Photography

SBL

Lakeside can keep the pressure on the State Basketball League’s top two women’s sides with a win over Perth this weekend.

The Lightning have built a solid foundation for a tilt at the 2017 title, with nine wins from 13 matches leaving them third on the table.

They will travel to Belmont Oasis tomorrow night to battle the fifth-placed Redbacks from 6pm.

Cockburn, which has found some form in recent weeks, will host the South West Slammers at Wally Hagan Stadium from 6.30pm tonight.

The Cougars will then back up tomorrow night with a game against the second-placed Mandurah Magic away.

That match, at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, begins at 6pm.

In the men’s division, seventh-placed Cockburn opens round 13 by hosting the fifth-placed Slammers at home from 8.30pm tonight.

It then travels to Mandurah to taken on the bottom-placed Magic.

Lakeside, which sits in eighth, will travel to Belmont tomorrow to play the Perth Redbacks from 8pm.

WAFL

East Fremantle coach Rob Wiley says the club will look to recruit experienced players in the off-season in a bid to bounce back from a dark period in the club’s history.

The Sharks are winless after nine games and have just come off a 145-point WA Day pasting by rivals South Fremantle.

Wiley, in a message to Shark members and fans, said there was no excuse for what his side dished up on Monday but added an injury list featuring 18 senior players had left them short of experience and leadership on game day.

He said the club would battle through to the end of the year, continuing to blood young talent at senior level, with an eye on a big fish for the 2018 season.

“There have been more players make the transition from colts to senior football over the past two years and the outlook for the future, looking at our talent pathway, seems bright,” he said.

“But what we need to do is recruit players who we can build this emerging list around.

“We as a football department have made a commitment, along with the board, to recruit experienced players to help our local talent.

“We have already started this process of recruitment for the 2018 season.”

The Sharks travel to Claremont tomorrow to tackle the Tigers at 2.15pm.

The second-placed Bulldogs will host Peel Thunder at Fremantle Oval from 2.15pm.

HOCKEY

After a week off, both of Fremantle Hockey Club’s premier 1 teams will be vying for a win this weekend.

After marked improvements in the last fortnight, the still winless women’s team will be looking to get on the board when they take on the fifth-placed Hale.

For the fifth-placed Fremantle men, a win against OGMHC will bring them closer to the top four and stop the Old Aquinians and WASPS leap-frogging them on the ladder.

The Fremantle women will play Hale from 2.30pm tomorrow at Hale Turf while the men will take on OGMHC from 3pm Sunday at Guildford Turf.

SOCCER

The much-needed return of Gian Albano has restarted a faltering Cockburn City season.

Albano played the first six games of the season with Cockburn, netting four goals in that time and helping the team to three wins and two draws in what was a dominant start to 2017.

However, he spent the next seven games on the sidelines, during which Cockburn limped to just one win and two draws.

Since Albano’s return in round 14, Cockburn has won both of its games and will be looking to make it three in a row when they take on Bayswater City tomorrow.

A win means a chance for the eighth-placed Cockburn to shoot back up the ladder and retain some of the ground they lost after slipping from third with their mid-season form slump.

Cockburn City takes on Bayswater at Frank Drago Reserve in Bayswater from 3pm tomorrow.