Lakers begin quest for glory
After being perched in the top three of the Kyabram District League A-grade ladder for the entire 2022 season, crunch time has now come for Nagambie as it embarks on yet another finals campaign.
The home-and-away season yielded 13 wins, two losses and one draw for the Lakers, who are well poised for a shot at premiership glory as they begin their quest with a blockbuster qualifying final clash with Tallygaroopna.
Having secured the all-important double chance with a third-placed finish, Nagambie A-grade coach Katie Sullivan said her team was determined to make it count with a strong performance against the Redlegs on Sunday.
“We are really excited for the game. This is obviously what we play for, to be up there at the top battling it out in finals,” Sullivan said.
“It has been really close all season with these top four sides and we are really looking to getting out there on the weekend, especially after Nagambie secured three wins in the elimination finals last week.”
Two of the most evenly matched teams in the competition, the Lakers and Redlegs could not be split back in round 11, battling out a thrilling 43-all draw at Nagambie Recreation Reserve.
Sullivan said her team learnt a lot from that contest and, with a few handy inclusions, will be primed to turn that draw into a victory this time around.
“We know it’s always a close contest against Tally and this weekend won’t be any different,” she said.
“That game earlier in the year was one where we didn’t have Sharni (Lloyd), our main goaler, and had to make a few quick positional adjustments.
“So for us to still come away with a draw, we were actually quite happy. So this time being at full strength, we are very confident we can get the job done.”
A perennial contender over the past decade, Sullivan said her team’s X-factor in this year’s post-season lies in its wealth of experience on the finals stage.
“The intensity will certainly go up a level and one thing that makes me as a coach very comfortable leading into the finals is that we have so much experience in our group,” she said.
“It is a different ball game at this time of year and our ability to deal with that pressure and rise to the occasion will make us a very hard team to beat in a finals match.
“My message to the girls is just continue to take the game on, play a fast style of netball and not doubt our ability.”
Nagambie will face Tallygaroopna at Rushworth Recreation Reserve on Sunday at 2pm.