Old foes battle for A grade crown
The A grade grand final between Ellinbank and Poowong on Saturday is sure to be played at a fast and furious pace.
Both teams relish quick ball movement up and down the court.
Ellinbank will go in favourites to the game at Western Park after a dominant year, however, Poowong know how to play finals.
Having fought their way through the preliminary final, Poowong will have their tails up and confidence high going into the game.
It will be a great defensive game of netball, with both teams able to turnover ball and score quickly.
In goal shooter for Ellinbank is Shanara Notman who plays a different brand of netball and can be unpredictable. Poowong’s goal keeper Katelyn Miller will be up for the challenge and really make Notman work for her positioning in the circle.
Goal defence Nicole Vamplew will work with Miller to confuse the space and the entry for Ellinbank goal attack Ebony Bott. Bott has put in a lot of work on her mid-range shot to become even more of a threat in the circle. Vamplew is best known for her ability to hunt the attacking connections and will look to cause havoc up the court.
Ellinbank wing attack Lauren Sheehan is the quiet achiever of the attack end, going about her role on court without fuss. Sheehan has great change of direction and prelims, which enables her to access the circle edge easily. Poowong wing defence Mieke Polman-Short will be a great match-up for Sheehan, having come off a stand out preliminary final performance. For those who wish to watch two netball minds tough it out in the biggest match of the year, this is a must see.
Our two centres couldn’t be more different. Ellinbank’s Jasmine Ferguson and Poowong’s Georgia Chiavaroli play their position very differently but are equally as effective. Ferguson is strong and goes hard at the ball. Her ability to drive long into the pockets and take a high ball is a sight to see. Chiavaroli is transitioning from goals and uses her understanding of space in the circle to position and feed efficiently.
Breanna Pratt is likely to line up at wing defence for Ellinbank against young gun Dallas Loughridge from Poowong. Pratt is a silent assassin on court, using her incredible closing speed to get a lot of tips and intercepts during a match. Loughridge’s strength is her ability to fill space around her coach Karina Proctor. Loughridge typically sets up below Proctor on court and this will keep Pratt out of contesting in the centre third.
Poowong coach Karina Proctor will run out the game at goal attack. Proctor does a power of work up the court, keeping a one-on-one in the circle until she enters and sweeps the front space with great effect. Against her will be Rhiannon Haines for Ellinbank who has the tank to run with Proctor and the athleticism to dictate entry. This match up will be one to watch as they go toe to toe for the full 60 minutes.
In goal keeper for Ellinbank will be Sam Hodge. The defensive combination of Hodge and Haines will challenge Poowong. Hodge will look to contest anything high to the pockets and once she gets the feel of the game, will come out hunting. Poowong will need to use creative ball movement and baulks to open up goal shooter Emma Main. Main has a great hold and creates clear space for Proctor, with great strength on the rebound.
Whilst Ellinbank is unlikely to go to their bench, Poowong has a few options in Abbey McNally and Melissa Beveridge.
Ellinbank’s ability to continually shoot goals and apply score board pressure will make it difficult for Poowong. But if anyone is up to playing a grand final against the Eagles, it is the Magpies.