COLBINABBIN’S bid to land a third-straight A-grade netball premiership remains alive following a fighting preliminary final win against Mount Pleasant.
The Grasshoppers advanced to their sixth consecutive grand final, but had to survive an almighty scare from the fearless Blues to win 50-46.
Mount Pleasant was chasing a third-straight finals win after qualifying for the post-season in fourth position.
Grasshoppers coach Liz Cobbledick said her side was able to establish an early six-goal lead, which proved a handy buffer as the Blues continued their attack during the game.
“Mount Pleasant came out really hard, but I was happy with the way our girls started, which is something we didn’t do well last week,” she said.
“I said before the game that I really wanted us to focus on that first five minutes and then continue that on throughout the quarter.
“They kept coming back at us, but that handy break always allowed us to control the momentum.”
The win set up a rematch against White Hills, which defeated the Grasshoppers in the previous weekend’s second semi-final by 19 goals.
Cobbledick, who led the Grasshoppers to a flag in her first season in 2016, paid full credit to Mount Pleasant for a tough performance.
“The team we played on Saturday compared to the team we played earlier in the year was completely different,” she said.
“They have just gone from strength to strength and played really well.
“It would not surprise me if next year, they pick up just one more key player and keep developing the girls they have got, they will be a definite flag contender.”
In an encouraging sign for the Grasshoppers, Jess Geary made a brief appearance and showed no signs of a worry from a recent ankle injury.
Cobbledick was confident her wing attack would play a more prominent role on grand final day.
While their A-grade team has bowed out of the premiership race, the Blues will have its A-reserve and B-grade sides contest grand final after wins on Saturday.
Colbinabbin will also be represented in 17-under and 15-under grand finals.