Gisborne continued its giant-killing run while Eaglehawk thrashed nearest rival Sandhurst in the semi-finals of the Bendigo Football Netball League’s A-grade netball competition at the weekend.
After eliminating reigning premiers Golden Square in extra time the previous weekend, Gisborne handed Kangaroo Flat a straight-sets finals exit at the Queen Elizabeth Oval yesterday.
Gisborne led 10-6 at quarter-time and held-off the Roos through some tense moments late in the first semi-final to win 32-31.
“We started off really well, for once. I don’t think there was a part of the game where we went down and we managed to hold our nerve and come away with the win,” Gisborne coach Paige Rymer-Hamilton said.
Trailing 17-13 at the main break, Flat could only get the margin back to three goals at the final change, 26-23.
The Roos ramped-up the pressure in the final term, but Gisborne held on for another nail-biting win.
“We made a few silly mistakes and that was from their pressure, we just threw a few wayward passes, but the girls managed to keep it together,” Rymer-Hamilton said.
Gisborne takes on Sandhurst in the preliminary final.
“It’s another first for us. We’ve had two games against them this season when we’ve been beaten really well, but I haven’t had my full side in either,” Rymer-Hamilton said.
Sandhurst needs to rebound quickly from Saturday night’s shock 17-goal loss to Eaglehawk in the second semi-final.
Eaglehawk was far too good for the QEO-based club on its home court, with the Hawks rubbishing speculation the weekend off would be a hindrance.
An 11 goals to five opening term set the Hawks on the way to a 41-24 win.
“We’ve had a really good first quarter most of our games, it’s not something we’ve been working on it’s just been happening,” Eaglehawk coach Amanda O’Neill said.
“Our defensive pressure, especially down Sandhurst’s goaling end, was fantastic.”
Eaglehawk’s defence, led by Lauren Ryan and Heather Oliver, shut down Sandhurst’s attack while Abby Gilmore was locked in a fascinating battle with Chloe Watson at the other end.
Ebony Evans linked well in the mid-court for ‘Hurst and was a major reason why her team trailed by just five goals at half-time.
But Eaglehawk had too many winners across the court and now advances to the grand final in two weekends’ time.
In A-reserve, Golden Square is through to the grand final after a convincing 48-32 victory against Eaglehawk.
The Hawks will face Sandhurst in the preliminary final after the maroon and blue thrashed Kangaroo Flat 50-22 in the first semi-final.
Eaglehawk will also play a preliminary final in the B-grade after going down to Sandhurst 45-39 in the second semi-final.
The Hawks will take on Golden Square in the preliminary final this weekend after Square outclassed Flat 45-29.
The Roos’ B-reserve team scored a 50-49 win in the second semi against Golden Square.
The Square will play Sandhurst this weekend for the other grand final berth after Sandhurst eliminated South Bendigo 43-37 in the first semi-final.
Sandhurst’s 15-goal victory against Flat in the 17-and-under second semi-final booked it a grand final spot, while the Roos will play a preliminary final against Gisborne which defeated Castlemaine 41-37 in the first semi-final.