EAGLEHAWK joint coach Allira Holmes expects a season-ending injury to star midcourter Bridget Murray to steel the playing group ahead of Saturday's preliminary final showdown against Kangaroo Flat.
The Hawks wing attack suffered a heartbreaking Achilles injury in the second half of last Sunday's semi-final clash against Gisborne at QEO.
Eaglehawk was able to brush aside the anguish to record a stirring one goal win and move within one victory of a claiming a spot in its first BFNL grand final since 2012.
Holmes, who is in her first season as joint coach alongside Mali Roberts, said everyone at the club felt for Murray, who was enjoying a strong game against the Bulldogs before being struck down.
"We are all obviously very disappointed for Bridget, especially given we have been playing so well and she has been playing excellent netball," she said.
"She's in very good spirits and doing well, and still at all our trainings.
"It would be nice to do it for Bridget this weekend and have everyone step up and get the in.
"But I am sure Kangaroo Flat will be feeling the same with Kate Burton in a similar position.
"It's very unfortunate for both our sides to be missing key players."
Burton suffered a compound ankle fracture in the Roos' qualifying win over Gisborne and will also play no further part in the finals.
The Hawks will be aiming for their first win this season against Kangaroo Flat, but will enter the match full of confidence after two finals win, which followed a nail-biting two-goal loss to the Roos in the teams' round 18 encounter at Dower Park, which delivered the home side the double chance.
Nothing could separate the Hawks and Roos when they played out a draw earlier in the season.
Kangaroo Flat will look to rebound from a semi-final loss to Sandhurst, which qualified for its third-straight A-grade grand final with a 41-27 win on Saturday night.
The Roos, under coach Jayden Cowling, are chasing their first grand final berth since 2016.
They will be playing in their second-straight preliminary final.
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