It’s make or break for Victoria in its Ballarat-Geelong premier bowls clash with Webbcona this week.
Victoria has lost its last three matches to Sebastopol, Ocean Grove and City of Geelong and now finds itself 23 points outside the top four.
The reigning premiers quest to return to the winners list gets no easier as it takes on an inform Webbcona outfit. But premier bowler Stephen Britt said this Saturday and the following week’s hit-out with City Oval were must-win matches if it is to keep its finals hopes alive.
"The next two games are pretty vital for us, we've got Webbcona and City Oval and if we don't win both of them I'd say we're out of the running,” Britt said.
"We're right in it, but we just need to win a few games.
"It's going to be tough, we're already probably a game and-a-half outside the four now, so we can't afford to lose this week or next week.”
Britt said it was proving difficult to cover the departures of some of its premiership side, with only 11 regular members playing on this season.
Victoria has been “plugging holes” for much of the season, but believe if it can win the next two games then it will be right in the mix once again at the completion of the first round of the fixture.
While Britt acknowledges you can’t replace premiership players, their absence is allowing others to fill the void and improve as bowlers – giving the side hope that its best bowls is in front of it.
"Our form is reasonable, we haven't been thrashed by anyone, but we're just struggling to field a full side every week with blokes unavailable and not playing this year, due to family commitments.
“Winning a grand final is one thing, keeping the team together is another.
"We're missing some of our better players and you can't replace them, our depth doesn't go to replacing our best players.
"We're giving people opportunities to play at the highest level and it will improve them. We've just got to hang in there and try and do the best we can for the rest of the year.
"We're a couple short this week again, we're a bit light on, but we're playing at home and it's our chance to bounce back.
“Webbcona are playing really well, they're right up there in the four and they'll be hard to beat because they'll want to stay there. We're going to be trying our hardest to knock them off.”