Saints B grade make b-line for Ovens and Murray finals
MYRTLEFORD’S all conquering B grade netball team is set to be the sole Saints side to feature in this year’s Ovens and Murray finals.
A C grade finals berth is not out of the equation but with two games to make up and a difficult run home it is unlikely.
The in-form B grade Saints lost three of their first five games but have since beaten every team in the competition over a nine week run to sit second on the ladder.
Included in that run was a one-goal win over their main threat for the premiership, North Albury.
The B grade Hoppers who have dropped just that one match this year were left stunned as the Saints piled on 20 goals to six in an opening quarter that announced them as a serious contender.
B grade coach Jaclyn McAlpine said that competition for spots and togetherness were her team’s biggest strengths.
“We’ve pretty much got every position covered at least twice so I can move things around if things aren’t working,” she said.
“Everyone is going out there and having to play at 100 per cent in order to be able to stay on the court which is a great position for a coach to be in.”
The team features a great mix of youth and experience with premiership players McAlpine, Bridget Flint-Chapman and Rebecca Piazza offering great tutelage for up and coming youngsters Sally Botter, Chloe Breen and Shanae Gribbin.
A majority of the girls also played together in last season’s B grade team that just missed out on finals action.
“We’ve had a couple go up to A grade but our core group have stayed together and I think that’s so important be- cause netball is such a team sport,” McAlpine said.
Gribbin has been one of the team’s main sources of improvement leading to their rise into the five, after excelling in a new role at wing defence.
The Saints are guaranteed a spot in finals but require at least another two wins to a shore up a top three spot and double chance.