Victoria's latest COVID lockdown, and the current extension to it, has dramatically cut Port Fairy's chances of adding another Hampden open grade netball victory to its tally this season.
The Seagulls were drawn to play Portland last week and Terang Mortlake at home this Saturday, but the lockdown drew the curtain on all round 11 and 12 games.
The Tigers have won two games and the Bloods just one, leaving Port Fairy with a chance to grow their winning total of two.
The loss of these winning chances has been compounded by a horror draw now laying in wait for the Seagulls.
In the final rounds of the home-and-away season, Port Fairy is scheduled to play Cobden, South Warrnambool, North Warrnambool Eagles and Koroit.
The Bombers and Roosters sit one and two on the ladder, while the Eagles and Saints are at four and five.
With the battle for places in the top five a tightly fought one, chances of those teams easing off at any stage are non-existent, meaning the Seagulls will have little respite.
Port Fairy coach Renae Taylor said games against Portland and Terang Mortlake would have benefited her young team.
"We think both these would have been tight games," Taylor said.
"You do learn a lot from tight games and they can build you confidence and I think the girls deserved the chance to have a couple of those games."
While she is not conceding to the tough quartet of teams her side has to now face, she is wary of the impact games against them could have on the Seagulls.
"It will be tough playing four of the teams at the top of the ladder in consecutive weeks," Taylor said.
"Coming off a few weeks without playing will make it a bit harder, the interrupted season does hurt your momentum."
After injuries to a number of her more senior players, Taylor has an inexperienced team at her disposal for the run home.
The Seagulls line-up is made up mainly of players aged 20 and under, adding to the degree of difficulty in competing against the top sides.
But Taylor, who is in her first season as Port Fairy open coach, believes the team is on the right path.
"If this group sticks together and keeps working there's no reason we can't become a top side," she said.
"I've really enjoyed working with them, they are so eager and take feedback on board so well."
Taylor knows what success for Port Fairy on the netball court looks like, having played in the Seagulls only open grade premiership in 2016.
While finals are off the table for the open team this year, the division one, two and three teams are all in contention.
"There is still a great feel around the club and we have some more experienced players in the lower grades who are passing on their knowledge of the game to the younger girls," Taylor said.
"To have someone like Carley Thomas playing division two is amazing. Not only does she have an impact as a player but also her interaction with our younger players."
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