Pies over Blues in a thriller
A grade: Poowong 47 defeated Catani 45. There was extreme pressure from the opening whistle, with both teams creating early turnovers to break each other’s centre passes. Scoring was goal-for-goal for most of the first quarter until Poowong made the most of defensive rebounds to take a four-goal lead at quarter time.
Poowong came out firing in the second with consistent goaling. Catani put up a great fight with a solid performance in the midcourt. However, Poowong managed to extend the lead by another goal by the main interval, 20-15.
A topsy-turvy third quarter saw Poowong dominate early, only to have Catani come back in the latter part of the term. This maintained the five-goal deficit and put Poowong on notice for the final quarter.
In a “nail-biter” fourth term, Catani continued its momentum to level the scores. Poowong’s decision to leave the experienced fresh legs on the sideline looked certain to be their undoing. With scores all tied up at full-time, all was set for extra time – two halves of seven minute, with a minute break to change ends.
Once again, Catani took it to Poowong and led by a goal at the half-way mark.
Desperation and fatigue played a major part in the second half with many opportunities wasted. Once again, the scores were tied up when the clock ticked down.
Play continued with teams seeking a two-goal advantage in order to get a result.
As is always the case in such a tense moment, this seemed to take an eternity. However, it was only a minute or two before Poowong had regained composure to take the win, 47-45.
They will now meet Ellinbank in the grand final in what has become a very familiar premiership encounter in recent years.
Best on court: Poowong wing attack Dallas Loughridge.
B grade: Warragul Industrials 48 defeated Buln Buln 43.
In perfect weather conditions, Buln Buln and Dusties battled out the B grade preliminary final. The first quarter was a tight contest, with scores tied at 10-all. The midcourters for both sides were producing great drive and speed to supply the goalers with scoring opportunities.
Accurate goaling from both sides resulted in another close quarter in the second. Defensive pressure was stepped up, creating turnovers, and Buln edged ahead by a goal after a longrange shot on the half-time whistle.
Dusties had fresh legs which allowed them to increase intensity with their defence inside the circle impressive. They managed to take a three-goal advantage into the final break.
Both sides continued the tightly contested battle in the last quarter. Injury forced changes to the Buln line-up during the final term, while Dusties continued solid driving through the midcourt through to the final whistle for a fivegoal victory.
Best on court: Dusties goal defence Megan Spencer.
C grade: Warragul Industrials 33 defeated Longwarry 23.
Dusties defenders made an early impact on the game, denying Longwarry’s goalers on countless opportunities. Conceding only three for the quarter, accurate shooting rewarded Dusties with 11 goals at the other end.
The Crows began the second quarter well, with the first two goals. Dusties retaliated with strong intercepts and another solid performance from their attacking zone to lead 21-8 at half-time.
Some changes to the Longwarry line-up proved fruitful, posting the first four goals on the scoreboard in the third quarter. Dusties had to be content with settling into a goal-forgoal term. They held a comfortable 12-goal lead at the final change.
Despite another commendable quarter from Longwarry, Dusties were simply too strong and the lead too great, winning by 10 goals.
Best on court: Dusties goal keeper Hailey Hausfield. D grade: Ellinbank 46 defeated Poowong 39. Both teams showed great consistency throughout the first quarter, with Ellinbank’s one-goal lead reflective of the centre passes of the term.
Poowong’s midcourt gave some impressive displays early in the second to give the goalers a few more opportunities. However, the Bankers regrouped late in the quarter to sneak ahead by two at the half-time interval.
Poowong again began well in the third, only to see the Bankers create and convert turnovers well as some miscommunication crept into the Poowong midcourt. They subsequently trailed by four at the last change of ends.
In the end, it was the consistency of the Banker’s goalers and the persistent pressure of their defence throughout the four quarters that gave them the win over Poowong by seven goals.
Best on court: Ellinbank goal shooter Shanara Notman.
E grade: Warragul Industrials 34 defeated Longwarry 27.
It was an even start to the match, with both teams goaling truly. A couple of good intercepts by the Dusties defenders, coupled with solid attacking efforts, saw them take a fourgoal lead at the first change.
Dusties started the second as they finished the first, with their goalers taking advantage of every opportunity provided by the hard working defenders. This saw the Dusties get out to a sixgoal lead. Longwarry were not to be discounted and fought hard to bring the margin back to four at half-time.
It was more of the same in the third, with Dusties doing better on the scoreboard to hold a seven-goal lead at the last change.
The Crows came out well in the final term in an effort to peg back the margin. However, Dusties seemed to have an answer for everything, which made for an evenly contested period. Dusties were eventual winners by seven goals.
Best on court: Dusties goal attack Alexandra Brice.
F grade: Catani 21 defeated Warragul Industrials 14.
Catani took an early lead, with good movement down the court, in particular, their attacking zone. This resulted in a one-goal lead at the first break.
Two quick goals from Dusties early in the second kept them in contention, only to have Catani hit back and push the lead back out to three by half-time.
Both sides demonstrated great pressure all over the court, but a solid effort from Kayla Interlandi in goals for Catani saw the lead extended even further by the final change.
Catani continued to work well in attack, driving hard around the circle and capitalising well on their opportunities to book an appointment with Ellinbank in Saturday’s grand final.
Best on court: Catani goal attack Kayla Interlandi.
Above: Poowong and Catani players shake hands prior to the A grade preliminary final. With scores locked at the final whistle and again after 14 minutes of overtime, it took double overtime to decide a result.Right: Poowong’s Dallas Loughridge navigates a maze of players during A grade. Dallas was awarded best on court by the umpires.
Above: Buln Buln’s Laura Williams is at full stretch to defend the pass of Warragul Industrials’ goal defence Megan Spencer. Megan was judged best on court in the B grade final.Right: Warragul Industrials’ Kianah Conroy receives a pass in front of Buln Buln’s Ashley Pearson in the B grade game.
Poowong’s Georgia Chiavaroli takes a centre pass in an A grade game which was decided in double overtime on Saturday. Poowong won 47-45 to advance to the grand final.