KANGAROO Flat has continued its 2018 season dominance against Golden Square with a convincing 20 goal win in Saturday’s elimination final at the QEO.
The Roos, boosted by a strong goal shooting performance from Annie Spear, defeated the Bulldogs 52-32, to set up a semi-final showdown against the loser of Sunday’s qualifying between Gisborne and Eaglehawk.
It was the Roos’ third win this season against the Bulldogs from as many matches.
Golden Square started the smarter of the two teams and led by three goals at quarter time, before the Roos unleashed one of their best quarters for the season to score 17 goals to five and post a 24-15 lead.
A hard-working and slick Roos defence, led by Ingrid Hopkins and aided by Danielle Markwell and Jess Thomson, was able to lift its work-rate and largely shut down the Bulldogs after quarter time and help their team to a strong win.
Roos coach Jayden Cowling said he was pleased to see his side ‘push on’ after gaining the ascendancy in the second term.
“It gives us plenty of confidence for next week – it was do-or-die today for the girls, but with so much to play for,” he said.
“We want to keep going in finals and we know from here it’s anyone’s game in that top four.
“We are pumped for next week and can’t wait to see who we play.”
Cowling singled out Spear for praise after she was elevated from the A-reserve team following an ankle injury at training on Thursday night to Adrienne Murphy, and with Ruby Barkmeyer on restricted duty due to VNL commitments.
“She put in a really strong performance under the post to give us another option to look forward to in the next few weeks,” he said.
“Adrienne ended up coming on in the last quarter and didn’t miss a beat either, so hopefully we have a full line-up.”
For Golden Square, midcourter Millie Donegan was a standout, while the experienced Allira Holmes was a strong contributor at the defensive end of the court.
The Bulldogs’ loss puts an early end to a run of four-straight grand appearances from 2014-17.
It was a year of change for Golden Square, which was without much of its core from those grand final teams, but the future is definitely bright with the emergence of Bree Heiden, Millie Fogarty and Zoe Douglass as top-graders.
Gisborne plays Eaglehawk on Sunday at 3.20pm.