Thrilling bat­tles ex­pected for semis

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY SARAH SCULLY

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.

Cut-throat fi­nal

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

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