Thunder suffer another loss in second semi-final to Diamond Creek

Michelle Barkla was the Bendigo Thunder's best on Saturday.

Michelle Barkla was the Bendigo Thunder's best on Saturday.

BENDIGO Thunder coach Cherie O’Neill remains steadfast in her belief that her side’s best is still good enough to go all the way in the Northern Football Women’s League this year.

The question though is can the Thunder regain it?

The Thunder used up their double chance when beaten by Diamond Creek by 11 points in a low-scoring second semi-final.

In a game where just five goals were kicked, Diamond Creek won 3.6 (24) to 2.1 (13) at Preston City Oval on Saturday to advance directly to the grand final.

The Thunder now has to back up again next Sunday in the preliminary final against VU Western Spurs following two losses in a row.

Having won their first 13 games of the season, the Thunder have lost their edge late in the season, with their past two matches defeats to Darebin and Diamond Creek.

“The girls need to regroup and I still believe if we play our best footy, there’s no question about whether we’re going to win or not,” O’Neill said.

“The question at the moment though is can we get ourselves back up to be able to do that. We need to have a hard week on the track to try to bring our best game next weekend.”

O’Neill said Diamond Creek’s ability to play to its structures was one of the key differences between the two sides in Saturday’s grind.

Centre half-back Michelle Barkla was the Thunder’s best player.

• Match details:

Diamond Creek 3.6 (24) d Bendigo Thunder 2.1 (13).

Goals – K. Harrington, A. Walsh 1. Best – M. Barkla, K. Harrington, A. Wilson, J. Radnell, S. Baldwin, T. Cochrane.