YCW, Mitiamo draw on plenty of motivation in lead-up to LVNA grand final

Recent grand final history will be fresh in the memories of YCW and Mitiamo in the Loddon Valley Netball Association A-grade grand final at Inglewood today.

YCW has plenty of motivation after having the flag snatched from its grasp last season.

The Eagles’ only loss in 2011 came at the worst possible time – when gunning for a fourth-straight flag in the grand final against Bridgewater.

“I think we have the determination after last year’s loss. The girls certainly want it very badly,” YCW coach Christie Griffiths said.

“We’re playing good netball, so I certainly think we should be up there with a chance to bring it home.”

For the Superoos, today is a chance to exact some revenge on YCW, which defeated it in three consecutive grand finals from 2008 to 2010.

Although YCW has only lost once this season, Mitiamo will fancy its chances of winning its first premiership since 2005.

The Superoos drew 49-all with the ladder leaders in round six, before a narrow 46-43 defeat in the round 15 rematch.

“I think it will be closely-contested like the other two, I don’t think there’ll be much in it,” Mitiamo coach Jen Morrison said.

“It’ll be whoever can control the ball and make the least amount of mistakes, that will be the team that wins.”

Mitiamo finished the season in second-place, but endured a tough run to the grand final, facing two elimination matches after losing the qualifying final to Pyramid Hill.

The Superoos snuck past Bridgewater in the first semi-final 35-34, before winning another nail-biter 36-35 against Pyramid in last weekend’s preliminary final.

In contrast, YCW moved through to today’s clash with a 47-44 second-semi final triumph against Pyramid Hill.

Pyramid Hill was the only team to defeat YCW this season, 51-50 in round 14, when the Eagles’ wing defence Bree Bentley (ankle) and goal defence Kaitlin Gardner (broken foot) went down injured.

Both players return to YCW’s defence today, in a match where goals will be at a premium, according to Griffiths.

“I think it’s just a matter of who’s going to be able to get the goals to be honest, both ends have got a very strong defence end,” Griffiths said.

“We’re very strong defensively from one end right through to the other, there’s no weakness, as such, in our side. 

“If we can put the defensive pressure on right through that court, I think that’s where it will be won.”

Mitiamo’s Laura Spence – the LVNA A-grade best and fairest – will play a big role with Stella Calder in attack for the Superoos, while Spence’s mother Raelene – the C-reserve best and fairest – will begin on the bench, but is another option in attack.

Inter-league playing-coach Cara Bastian’s performance in goals alongside Jamie-Lee Clohesy will go a long way to helping the Eagles return to the top of the LVNA.

Today’s A-grade match begins at 3pm, following the B-grade grand final between the two clubs from 1.30pm.

YCW plays Bears-Lagoon Serpentine in C-grade at noon, following Pyramid Hill’s 17-and-under match with Marong at 10.30am.

The C-reserve and 15-and-under grand finals will be played simultaneously at 9am.

Mitiamo plays Inglewood in the C-reserve and YCW in the 15s.

A-grade teams:

YCW – Cara Bastian (GS), Jamie-Lee Clohesy (GA), Christie Griffiths (WA), Jess Moroni (C), Bree Bentley (WD), Laura Hamilton (GD), Lauren Coghill (GK), Kaitlin Gardner, Sarah Barry.

Mitiamo – Stella Calder (GS), Laura Spence (GA), Sarah Ludeman (WA), Amelia Ludeman (C), Tamera Grant (WD), Tahnee Cannon (GD), Jayne Norton (GK), Riley Driscoll, Raelene Spence, Emma Baldwinson.

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