BEARS Lagoon-Serpentine coach Greg Gadsden concedes the latest Victorian regional lockdown may well have skittled his side's hopes of playing in a Loddon Valley league final.
The Bears finished fifth on the ladder and up until Friday night before all weekend community sporting competition was called off after a spike in regional COVID-19 cases had been preparing to play Pyramid Hill in Sunday's elimination final at Marong.
But following Saturday's announcement of another Victorian regional lockdown until 11.59pm on September 2, the LVFNL now has just a three-weekend window at best to complete its finals series by September 18-19.
And being the lowest-ranked of the five senior finalists, it puts the Bears - as well as Bridgewater in the A Grade netball - in a precarious position if the league is to condense from a top-five to top-four format.
The LVFNL board will meet early in the week to discuss the ramifications of the lockdown and the loss of its first two weekends of scheduled finals dates.
"Depending on what the league decides to do, with this lockdown until September 2, I would think it's probably going to rule us out of the race," Gadsden said on Saturday.
"That would obviously be gut-wrenching for the boys. They had a lot of belief going into this week that they could get a win on the board, so to get that opportunity taken away because of the circumstances we're in is a bitter pill to swallow.
"We understand what's going on, but it still doesn't sit easy when an opportunity gets taken away. But we'll just have to see how it plays out."
We understand what's going on, but it still doesn't sit easy when an opportunity gets taken away. But we'll just have to see how it plays outGreg Gadsden - BL-Serpentine coach
Saturday's start to the finals series would have featured Marong taking on Bridgewater in the qualifying final at Serpentine on a pristine day with the temperature at 17 degrees for what would have been the opening bounce.
"It would have been an absolutely perfect day for footy, so that adds to the boys disappointment that they didn't get to play today," Marong coach Linton Jacobs said.
"But as they have through all the other lockdowns, their focus is on making sure they will be ready for the next game we will play.
"Some of the boys have already been out for a run this morning and asking what they should do next, so while they are flat today, their mindset is straight onto the next game, which is really pleasing.
"We'll adjust and be flexible and wait for our next opportunity when it comes."
Losing the first two weeks of scheduled finals dates follows the LVFNL having to abandon five home and away rounds due to earlier lockdowns.
"It obviously hits a bit harder when it's a final that is impacted... look outside today and it's beautiful weather for footy," Pyramid Hill co-coach Nathan Fitzpatrck said.
"Hopefully, we can still get some sort of finals series in and have a crack at it.
"We'll obviously be encouraging all our boys to keep their legs ticking over through these next couple of weeks and remain intrinsically motivated."
THE FIVE SENIOR FINALISTS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: