Charlestown’s second placed team Watters have been forced to withdraw from the 2018 finals after injuries reduced their squad below possible playing numbers.

It will be disappointing for the team that was only defeated by league leading Heat throughout the season, and was on an upward swing after three straight victories, but coach Tiffany Watters believes “keeping the finals fair” was the best course of action.

“Towards the end of the season we had a few injuries that were dropping our team numbers, and now two of our players will be absent because of pregnancy, so we thought the best thing would be to let four teams that could all play be in the finals,” Watters explained.

“It’s disappointing because we were thinking we could beat Heat in the final and we could definitely get there, but it just wasn’t meant to be, and now another team can have a go at being the first to beat them this year.”

Although the team’s numbers have dropped below the official playing count, Watters also confirmed the squad would be returning to contest the 2019 season and believes they can continue their “strong performances”.

“The only difference next year is that we’ll have everyone back on the court, and we’ll have a few more in the cheer squad,” she laughed.

“We’re definitely going to be back, we all had a discussion about what we were going to do and the whole team wants to play on.”

While its end of season pain for Watters, the change boosts Crossfire into a second place face-off against undefeated Heat, and gives them a second bite of the cherry even if they fall on the weekend.

It also gives Purnells a second lease on life, moving them from an eliminated position on the ladder into fourth place.

Purnells will now face third placed Job Done in the semi final this Saturday, while Heat and Crossfire will compete for a path straight through to Charestown’s grand final.

While Heat are likely favourites to step straight into the year’s big dance, Crossfire have shown when they click they can play anyone off the court – a strong start for the Central team and it could be anyone’s game come midday Saturday.