Grand final berth at stake in today's netball clashes on QEO court 

A grand final berth is at stake when Eaglehawk plays Sandhurst in tonight's Bendigo Football Netball League A-grade netball second semi-final on the QEO court.

The Hawks and Hurst will do battle from 7.10pm.

This year's meetings  - Round 6 – Sandhurst 34 lost to Eaglehawk 35.

Round 15  – Eaglehawk 43 defeated Sandhurst 39.

Eaglehawk coach - Amanda O’Neill: 

“We’ve got a target on our back, we finished top, so we feel like we’re the hunted.

“Both teams have strong goalers, defenders and mid-court, so I think it’s really going to come down to whose defenders can shut the other team’s goalers down.

“They’ve got Chloe Watson down in defence, who might be a little trouble for us height-wise. 

“But our defenders – especially over the past few weeks and practice matches – have been playing really well together, so we’re hoping they can put the pressure on Sandhurst’s goalers.

”We’ve got to shut down their mid-court. They like to play the short, sharp-type drive. 

“If we can put a lot of pressure on their mid-court then, hopefully, we’ll be able to turn it over and win it.” 

Eaglehawk A-grade squad: Amanda O’Neill, Hannah Gretgrix, Abby Gilmore, Brittany Eastman, Carmel Mulcahy, Heather Oliver, Christie Rogers, Lauren Ryan.

Sandhurst coach – Jannaya Webb: 

“We probably match up a little bit differently with Eaglehawk than Kangaroo Flat...we’re probably challenged a lot more in the mid-court.

“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right combinations in there this week, so it may be a little different.

“Our defence end has always been quite solid, it just comes down to whether our goalers are on or off in that one position really.

“We have the same squad. Our only player who is under an injury cloud is Stephanie Strachan who hurt her ankle at training.

“Finals can go either way, we’ve just got to make sure we’re on the ball from the start.

“Last time we played them it was a close game and we were without Brianna (Dalrymple-Monro), so I’m pretty confident they’re beatable.” 

Sandhurst A-grade squad:  

Brianna Dalrymple-Monro, Lucy Spalding, Chloe Watson, Ash Cole, Jasmine Finnigan, Sarah Hill, Ebony Evans, Gabriella Greene, Stephanie Strachan.

The match: It’s the match-up between clearly the best two teams in the competition and there’s little to split them.

Eaglehawk has not lost to Sandhurst this season but the margins in both matches suggest this game could go either way.

Sandhurst was impressive in disposing of Kangaroo Flat in last Sunday’s qualifying final and will be hoping to catch the Hawks on the hop after the week off.

Eaglehawk coach Amanda O’Neill, who is a doubtful starter because of an Achilles injury,  needs to ensure her mid-court matches Sandhurst’s, especially in the opening quarter, or the Hawks may suffer the same result as the Roos last weekend.

Travis’ tip: Eaglehawk by one goal.

In tomorrow's first semi-final, Kangaroo Flat and Gisborne will be aiming to keep their seasons alive when they clash on the QEO court from 3pm.

This season's meetings stand at one-all, with both teams victorious in their games at home.

Today's other second semi-finals at the QEO:

A-reserve at 5.50pm: Eaglehawk v Golden Square.

B-grade at 4.30pm: Eaglehawk v Sandhurst.

B-reserve at 3.10pm: Kangaroo Flat v Golden Square.

Under-17 at 1.50pm: Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst.

Tomorrow's other first semi-finals at the QEO:

A-reserve at 1.40pm: Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat.

B-grade at 12.20pm: Golden Square v Kangaroo Flat.

B-reserve at 11am: Sandhurst v South Bendigo.

Under-17 at 9.40am: Gisborne v Castlemaine. 

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