Thrilling battles expected for semis
Agrand final berth will be up for grabs when Horsham District Football Netball League’s top two sides go head to head at Laharum’s Cameron Oval on Saturday.
Minor A Grade premier Laharum has set the benchmark this season and will look to continue its stellar form against reigning premier Harrow-balmoral.
All eyes will be on this clash, with the Demons looking to capitalise on form and the Southern Roos hoping steady heads and experience will shine through. Spectators should be treated to a cracker, with neither side wanting to leave anything on the court.
It will be interesting to see how Laharum lines up, with Rebecca Mcintyre’s height an advantage at either end. If she plays goal keeper, Harrow-balmoral shooters Sarah Cleaver and Sara Mccuish might struggle against her reach.
The Southern Roos goalies are combining well but will need to maintain grace under fire to get their team across the line.
A further key to Harrow-balmoral’s success will be stopping outstanding Laharum goal shooter Caitlin Story – and who better than three-time league best and fairest Ebonie Salter and experienced defender Kate Vickery?
It’s hard to pick a winner in this one. Maintaining composure in a highpressure situation will go a long way towards the result.
Natimuk United and Noradjuhaquantong will look to keep their finals campaigns alive during a cut-throat first semi-final at Kalkee on Sunday.
The Ewes advanced to the semis with a convincing 27-goal win over Edenhope-apsley, while the Bombers held off a fast-finishing Giants outfit by nine goals.
The Saints came flying out of the blocks against the Ewes, and were within two goals at the first break.
But an unsettled line-up throughout the season showed, with the outfit not as well-drilled as its opponent.
Natimuk United steadied the ship in the second term and did not look back.
Defender Caitlyn Batson earned beston-court honours, with goalie Sarah Domaschenz the Saints’ standout.
Noradjuha-quantong shook off a bad result against Laharum in round 16 to showcase its capabilities against the Giants.
The Giants – labelled the ‘dark horse’ by many – put up a good fight but lacked the direction of experienced Emma Mill in the centre, particularly with Annie Noonan required in defence.
They staged a comeback in the last quarter but it was too little too late. Speedy wing attack Kimberley Shannon was outstanding in the loss, while the drive of midcourter Georgia Francis was vital for the Bombers.
The midcourt battle on Sunday will be a great match-up of speed, but a lot will come down to defenders Yolly Molineaux and Brooke Pay curbing the influence of tall Natimuk shooter Shannon Couch.
The Bombers pair rattled the Giants goalies and will look to do the same this week. Rebounds will be vital and whichever team capitalises best on turnovers will win.
A Grade matches start at 3pm. Elimination final results: Natimuk United d Edenhope-apsley 49-22, Noradjuha-quantong d Southern Mallee Giants 43-34.
IN FRONT: Edenhope-apsley’s Rachael Elmslie gets the jump on Natimuk’s Michelle Trigg during an elimination final at Beulah.
Picture: PAUL CARRACHER