Su­per ef­fort earns shot at ti­tle

Geelong Advertiser - - FOOTY FIX - JESS LEADER ST AL­BANS SOUTH BAR­WON

ST Al­bans has earned a long-over­due crack at a GFL net­ball premier­ship af­ter down­ing South Bar­won by eight goals in Satur­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

With a li­cence to play ag­gres­sive and in­stinc­tive net­ball, the Su­per­saints pulled away in the fi­nal quar­ter to win 61-53, turn­ing the ta­bles on their 17-goal loss to the Swans a fort­night ago.

South Bar­won was forced to ad­just in the sec­ond quar­ter when cap­tain Ains­ley Cor­ri­gan suf­fered an achilles in­jury.

Coach Ni­cole Richard­son praised her side’s abil­ity to be “smarter with the de­liv­ery of the ball and a lot more pa­tient in at­tack”, pro­vid­ing many op­por­tu­ni­ties for star shooter Thar­jini Si­valingam.

“We worked it onto the cir­cle edge, closer in the ring, ‘Ge­nie’ was strong in the cir­cle,” Richard­son said.

“We knew it was go­ing to come down to the team that ex­e­cuted and the team that could value the ball more.”

Starved of re­cent fi­nals suc­cess, the Su­per­saints seized their op­por­tu­nity by lead­ing at ev­ery break be­fore stand­ing up when it counted in the last quar­ter.

“That’s how we treated this game, we had noth­ing to lose and we’ve got to put it all out on the line,” Richardon said.

“I want the girls to play without a leash, and let their skills run free, and to have the courage to go.”

St Al­bans will take the same phi­los­o­phy into the grand fi­nal against a New­town & Chilwell side that has not lost a game since 2012.

“We have to, be­cause New­town haven’t lost,” she said.

“If you don’t take it to them and you don’t ap­ply some pres­sure then you’re not go­ing to win.

“We need to have the con­fi­dence in our own game to ex­e­cute, and if we can do that we will give our­selves a chance.”

It was not the farewell South Bar­won coach Adam Sloane he was hop­ing for af­ter fin­ish­ing as the Swans’ pre­mier di­vi­sion coach.

The in­jury to Cor­ri­gan put South on its back foot.

“We had the team to go out there and win, and we played op­tions that we thought were go­ing to give us an ad­van­tage, but hav­ing Ains­ley go down re­ally threw a span­ner in the works,” Sloane said.

“We needed to re­group as quick as we could.

“It’s about try­ing to keep the play­ers’ heads calm and ad­just.

“I think we had a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties to do so, but we couldn’t cap­i­talise.

“We couldn’t crack the five goals, we never got our rhythm to get the ball mov­ing and get a lead.”

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