Last gasp for Vikings
By BRUCE LEONARD
THIS weekend the Grafton City Vikings play their last games at home for the 2006 season when they take on Central Coast Power on Saturday night and on Sunday back up for a game against Lake Macquarie Lightning. It has been a disappointing season for the Vikings through injury to key players, Stuart Tait overseas, Matt Moran and Glenn Boorman both hurt. The Vikings have been without these three players for the last six weeks and this has devastated their chances of making the play offs. During these six games the Vikings have only won one game, where at full strength they could have reasonably been expected to win the lot of them. This has cost them on the points table, from where they should have finished third at full strength to a possible seventh spot, depending on results. This week's game will be hard, but tempered by Matt Moran returning and Stuart Tait also expected to be back and suiting up. On Saturday night the Vikings front up against Central Coast Power who are running two spots behind the Vikings. With Moran back on deck for sure, the Vikings have a real show in this game whether Tait is back or not. Steve Smith, playing the best basketball of his career, and Danny Boorman who is also getting better with age, as well as Moran, will be expected to have big games in the season final game in Grafton. Cameron Fishburn has been dominating the boards this year and has matured a lot as a player. Jason Bashforth is starting to find his feet again after a long lay off from State League while Dylan Parbury has stepped up to play well in Boorman's place in the starting five. In all, the Vikings should prove too strong for Central Coast Power on Saturday night. Sunday will be a much harder game for the Vikings. When the Vikings played this team in Lake Macquarie they held them until the last quarter when they ran out of legs, travelling with only six players due to the juniors also playing. On this, the Vikings have a big chance in Sunday's game. Moran will be back and hopefully Tait and with no junior commitments this week, Parbury will also be playing and they will have a full bench to call on. Lake Macquarie, currently sitting in fourth spot, cannot afford to lose this game. Then, to back up against a determined Vikings on Sunday is no easy ask. Whether Tait returns in time for the game will decide the Vikings fate in this game.