COCKBURN is just one win away from the 2016 SBL grand final.
The Cougars proved too strong for Geraldton in game one of their semi final series on Saturday at Active West Stadium, winning 100-96.
The Cougars, led by Rhett Della Maddalena who netted a team-high 28 points, won the opening three terms.
But they had to withstand a last quarter fight back from the hosts to claim the important win.
The Cougars led 83-71 at the final break but were outscored 25-17 in the last term.
Della Maddalena had a great night shooting at 63 per cent. He also cleaned up with eight rebounds.
Najee Lane scored 21 points and reeled in eight rebounds. Marcus Goode scored 20 and gathered 11 rebounds.
Maurice Barrow led the Buccaneers for scoring with 28 points and ten rebounds.
Matthew Adekponya scored 23 points and also brought in ten rebounds.
The result gives Cockburn two cracks at qualifying for the grand final on September 3.
The Cougars will be confident it can end the series on Saturday, having finished the year as the competition’s top side.
That included an 11-2 home record.
SOUTH Fremantle locked second spot following a tight win over East Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldogs survived a last-quarter charge from the home side to win 13.8 (86) to 12.10 (82).
Haiden Schloithe did not get his usual amount of the football but managed to have a significant impact on the game by booting four goals.
Tall forward Mason Shaw also booted three.
Jacob Dragovich gathered 36 disposals, while Shane Hockey tallied 34 and also laid eight tackles.
Jamie Bennell kicked three majors for the hosts and Samuel Powell-Pepper chimed in with two.
Luke Partington led the Royals for disposals with 30; William Maginness had 25 and kicked one goal.
The result was a massive boost for East Fremantle, which was thumped by Claremont at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday.
Despite their finals position being on the line, the Sharks were no match for the Tigers going down 22.11 (143) to 6.8 (44).
Jack Bradshaw got hold of the East Fremantle defence to kick eight goals.
Cameron Darcy had a productive afternoon kicking five goals and Jake Murphy notched up a team-high 34 disposals.
For the hosts, Jayden Schofield recorded 29 disposals.
Brett Peake took his 2016 goal tally to 39 with three majors on Saturday.
FREMANTLE Hockey Club’s league men had a huge win on the field last weekend, downing opponents YMCC 7-1.
The team’s late season form has continued, running rampant over their opponents to bang home three goals to one in the first half and four unanswered goals in the second to extend their streak to five wins from the last six games.
Khan Riley was potent in front of goals, scoring three, while teammates Flynn Ogilvie, James McPherson, Matthew Butturini and Paul Nicholls also beating the keeper.
The win also gave Fremantle a much needed ladder boost, leapfrogging YMCC to climb to sixth.
The Promotion 1 women also celebrated a win, keeping their ladder leading position safe for another week.
The 3-1 win over the Peel Rebels came courtesy of goals from Heather Batten, Camryn Pow and Jodie Shirley and puts the team in good stead to stay top of the ladder with just two games to go.
Soccer (NPL WA)
COCKBURN City have one last chance to end the 2016 season on a win after going down 3-1 to ECU Joondalup on Saturday.
The local team again scored the first goal of the match after Aden De Luz sent a deep cross to the box in the 12th minute for Blake Adams to finish.
It looked like Cockburn would go into half time with a 1-0 lead until Steven McGarry scored for the home team a minute into injury time.
It was all ECU Joondalup in the second half, Gordon Smith scoring two goals to lead the side to victory.
Despite a poor season, the 10th placed Cockburn look to be safe from relegation, with Subiaco and Armadale beneath them on the ladder.