Tonny to fight Cats for flag
MNL PRELIMINARY FINAL B GRADE TONGALA 12, 14, 9, 15 (50) def ECHUCA UNITED 9, 8, 10, 4 (31)
THE MURRAY Netball League B grade grand final has been finalised with Tongala and Finley set to play off for the 2017 flag.
Tongala’s B grade side made it through after defeating Echuca United by 19 goals in the preliminary final at Cobram on Saturday.
It ended the Eagles last remaining hope of having a senior team in this year’s grand final with C grade and C reserve both losing earlier that day.
Thw Blues’ accuracy in shooting and passing down the court enabled them to take control of the game which they then maintained for four quarters.
Goalers Abby Pettifer and Stacey McGill combined beautifully and shot well with McGill’s drive along the baseline being an easy option under the post.
Ashlee Watson created sev- eral opportunities for the attackend as she continually turned the ball over at goal keeper, reading the play brilliantly and intercepting strongly.
It saw Tongala take a threegoal lead at quarter time.
Echuca United’s Hollie Davidson came on at wing defence as Tina Rankins moved to goal keeper to try and shut down Pettifer.
Rankins provided a steady head and plenty of leadership on the court, however the Eagles struggled to capitalise in their attack-end.
The Blues were more efficient in their ball use and continued their run as they built the margin to six goals by half time, leading 26 to 17.
Their consistency and pressure in defence saw them go into the final break with an eight-goal lead. United’s Chloe McDermaid worked tirelessly in centre and was a good match up against Tongala’s Paige Wade as the two battled hard throughout the game.
The Eagles looked to run out of legs in the final quarter and couldn’t find the desire to win.
They were outscored 15 goals to four in the fourth quarter to end 31-50 and fall short of making the weekend’s grand final.
Saturday’s win made up for the 2015 grand final heart break when the Blues were pipped by seven goals to the Eagles.
Tongala has matched up well against Finley managing to come out on top on two occasions in close games throughout the season.