BRIDGEWATER has rebounded from a qualifying final loss to Calivil United in the strongest manner possible to win their way through to next weekend’s LVFNL preliminary final.
The Mean Machine, led by an outstanding performance at centre by Jessey Wilson, outclassed Maiden Gully YCW on its home court to win Sunday’s first semi-final 52-32.
Bridgewater laid the foundations for an emphatic win with a convincing 19-6 first quarter and were able to increase that lead in each of the second and third quarters.
Maiden Gully YCW produced its best netball of the day in the final term, but even then could only share the honours, with both sides adding 10 goals.
The Mean Machine got excellent service from their goaling tandem of Olivia Treloar (32 goals) and Emily East (20), who was awarded as the umpires’ best.
Their win sets up a preliminary final showdown against Mitiamo, which was beaten by five goals in Saturday’s second semi-final against Calivil United.
Coach Claudia Powell praised her players’ ability to lift after a narrow, but disappointing loss to Calivil United in the first week of finals.
“We’re happy to get back on track – the girls just came out wanting to win and it showed in the first quarter,” she said.
“We didn’t think the job was done (after the first quarter and I liked that we kept pushing.
“It gives us plenty of confidence for next week, but we know Mitiamo is going to be a very tough contest.
“I feel we have really grown as a team this year, we are playing some beautiful netball up and down the court and I think it’s really falling into place for us.
“I think if the girls can continue with the level of intensity they played with today (Sunday), we’ll shape up well next week and hopefully the next two weeks.”
The first-year Mean Machine coach gave plenty of kudos to Wilson for her leadership in the midcourt.
“She’s our captain and her direction down the court was brilliant,” she said.
“She really took charge and was making some beautiful leads and beautiful passes into the goalers.”
Bridgewater and Mitiamo enter next week’s final with one win apiece against each other this season.
The loss brings Maiden Gully YCW’s season to an end.
The Eagles finish the season with one finals win in fourth place, three spots higher than in 2017.