Roy­als Saints out to avenge de­cider loss

Albany Advertiser - - NETBALL - Cameron New­bold

Roy­als Saints 1 will be out to break a six-year premiership drought when they con­test the 2017 Al­bany Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion A1 grand fi­nal against Mag­pies 1 at Al­bany Leisure and Aquatic Cen­tre on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing mi­nor pre­miers, Roy­als Saints marched straight to the grand fi­nal af­ter a three-goal win over Mag­pies in the sec­ond semi­fi­nal and will be out to claim their first premiership since 2010.

In 2010, Roy­als Saints were suc­cess­ful against Nar­rikup 2, 4130, which at the time was their third A1 ti­tle in four sea­sons, but none of that premiership side re­main in the cur­rent team.

Roy­als Saints coach Chrissie Smith said her side were gun­ning to make up for last year’s 14-goal grand fi­nal loss.

“The girls were in the grand fi­nal last year and are ea­ger to go one step bet­ter,” Smith said.

“They have been there be­fore, so a grand fi­nal is not some­thing new.

“We have a nice mix­ture with our group and Roy­als have al­ways pushed younger play­ers up into the A1 grade and this is reward for the hard work they have put in.”

Lit­tle has sep­a­rated the two sides this sea­son, with Roy­als Saints win­ning the sec­ond semi­fi­nal and their round 3 clash (39-37) while in round 10 the sides drew 35 apiece.

“The two teams are fairly even,” Smith said.

“I think it will be down to who’s will­ing to tough it out more — it will be a pretty phys­i­cal game.

“Mag­pies have been the big im­prover over the sea­son, but you have to take those op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­liver at the end to win.”

Mag­pies will be chas­ing their sec­ond premiership in three sea­sons af­ter se­cur­ing their maiden A1 tri­umph in 2015 when they thrashed Kan­gas 1 by 20 goals.

They bounced back from their sec­ond semi­fi­nal loss to de­feat Kan­gas 1 in last week’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal by three goals and Mag­pies coach Rose­mary Wolter ex­pected a very tight de­cider.

“I’ve only got two girls that have played in a pre­vi­ous A1 grand fi­nal,” Wolter said.

“But they have come to­gether as a team very well and we have great flex­i­bil­ity.

“It will come down to com­po­sure and team­work — which team re­mains com­posed.”

The two sides will be full strength for the grand fi­nal, which starts at 3.15pm.

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