DENNINGTON A grade coach Sue Fleming is hopeful, rather than confident, her side can overcome the loss of three players against Kolora-Noorat today.
Jeanna Johnstone, Lani Keane and Krystal Day will miss the third-versus-fifth clash at Noorat Recreation Reserve.
Johnstone and Keane are overseas and will also miss a round 17 match against Merrivale but Day will be available to take on the Tigers.
Teenager Marlee Convey, a 15 and under shooter, will provide a bench option and will make her A grade debut if she takes to the court.
Fleming said the omissions meant the Dogs would have little flexibility. But an inconsistent side meant the players had faced similar challenges all season.
“This wouldn’t have been the ideal preparation if our season had been ideal, but the reality is this is how we’ve played the whole year,” she said.
“That’s why we’ve had Krystal coming back into the side, we’ve had girls away for three or four weeks at a time. We’ve had multiple positional changes all year.”
The absence of Keane means the Dogs’ shooting duties will rest with Marlie Boyd and Kate Burt.
Boyd has spent time in the mid-court this season but will not have that luxury against the Power today.
“Marlie has been really consistent. It’ll be a test for her tomorrow, she’ll have someone the height of Tania Barbary in the ring with her,” Fleming said.
“I coached Marlie in juniors and she was always a goal defence or a centre. It wasn’t really until she went to Warrnambool she started to play in goals. She played last year in goals and she’s a very accurate goalie.”
Kolora-Noorat coach Glenice Justin confirmed Barbary and shooter Penny Smith would play, giving the side welcome height at either end of the court.
The Power lost the corresponding fixture in round nine 52-42 but were understrength, meaning how today will unfold “is still very much an unknown”.
“Last time we played them I thought we were in the game for quite a while. Yes we lost by 10 goals but that was in the last quarter mostly,” Justin said.
“We were still with them at three-quarter-time and we didn’t have the same line-up as we’ll have this week.”
In other Warrnambool and District league A grade matches, unbeaten Old Collegians start favourite against East Warrnambool at Davidson Oval.
Allansford can continue on its march towards finals when it meets Nirranda at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
South Rovers play Deakin University at Walter Oval while Timboon Demons play Russells Creek at Timboon Recreation Reserve.
And Merrivale hosts Panmure at Merrivale Recreation Reserve tomorrow. The Tigers also play Old Collegians and Dennington as part of a tricky run home.