LEITCHVILLE-Gunbower coach Lauren Dehne concedes her team will need luck - and a fair bit of it - if it is to sneak into fifth place at the end of this Saturday's final home and away round of HDFNL netball.
But while there's life there's hope.
The Bombers, like Lockington-Bamawm United and Heathcote, were dealt a blow when Huntly was awarded the win in last week's match against Elmore after a protest over a scoresheet discrepancy was upheld.
It put the Hawks one win clear of both the Cats and Bombers with one round to play and completely removed the Saints, now two wins behind, from finals consideration.
With Huntly and LBU going into their respective round 18 games as heavy underdogs against top pair White Hills and Elmore, it leaves Leitchville-Gunbower (currently seventh on the ladder) as the most likely team from outside the five to make a late charge.
The Bombers trail the Hawks by a win and 5.13 per cent.
They effectively need the Hawks to suffer a heavy loss, while being able to execute a sizeable victory of their own over the Saints at Heathcote.
While Dehne would love nothing more than to notch up a last-minute finals berth in her first season as coach, she is remaining realistic.
"We're still a chance, but only just now," she said.
"Prior to the incident with Elmore and Huntly, all we really needed to do was win if results went the way most people expected, but now we need a win and to win quite comfortably in order to get in.
"We'll still give it a crack and we're still very excited.
"It's always nice to finish the season with a win, whether you make the finals or not.
"We'll go out there with plenty of energy and give it our best and if its enough to get into finals ripper, if not that's just the way the season's gone.
"The Elmore-Huntly situation has not done us any favours, but it is what it is, that's completely out of control.
"We can't even think about that."
If the Bombers are to miss out, Dehne said they only had themselves to blame after dropping a handful of close games throughout the season.
Among them was a three-goal loss at home to North Bendigo in round five, a four-goal defeat against Colbinabbin a week later and a six-goal loss to Huntly to start the second half of the season.
"We feel like we've been building really well in the second half of the season and if we did sneak into finals we'd give it a bit of a shake," she said.
"We're definitely pleased with the season.
"If we happened to get through, we'd play Colbo first up which would be a very interesting game after we beat them a few weeks ago.
"But we can't even think about things like that, we just want to bring home a win this weekend."
One final win and a potentially shared 5-9 record with both LBU and Leitchville-Gunbower would be a solid reward for Heathcote for a much-improved season under coaches Brooke Bolton and Kelsey Hayes.
The Saints, like their final-round opponent, have also been constricted by a few close losses, but are continuing to build for the future.
In other games, LBU will be hoping for a miracle against Elmore, while White Hills will be looking to round out its minor round commitments at 15-1 against Huntly at Scott Street.
At Colbinabbin, potential semi-finals rivals Colbinabbin and Mount Pleasant clash in a battle between third and fourth.
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