As team vied for grand final spots in our NFNL winter netball competition on Friday night, Lalor 1 and Bundoora 5 produced impressive triumphs to book their spots in their respective deciders this weekend.
The Bloods progressed to the Section 5 grand final after defeating Montmorency 2 with a comprehensive 25-goal win, whilst Bundoora 5 eased their way into the Section 8 grand final with a 16-goal victory over Diamond Creek 5.
Section 5: Montmorency 2 vs Lalor 1
It was a massive 21-6 goal first half that set the tone for Lalor’s victory, in Friday night’s preliminary final at La Trobe Sports Stadium.
The Bloods controlled the tempo of the match throughout, limiting the Magpies to no more than four majors in a quarter, to set up the 39-14 victory.
It’s been an incredible finals run for Lalor, who finished the regular season in fourth spot with an 8-5-1 record, before claiming a five goal triumph over Heat in the semi-final and of course winning last Friday night’s encounter.
The Bloods will now meet North Heidelberg 7 in the grand final, a side that have lost only once this season.
Kristin Birch led the scoring for Lalor with 20 goals. She was excellent in the front court alongside Zoe Lagoulis who produced 19 majors.
The defensive end of Meghan McKenzie and Danielle Smith held up strongly also.
For the Magpies, Amy Dillon scored 11 majors, while Amy Clay contributed with three goals.
A close match was expected as last time these two teams met; it was the Magpies that snuck home for a three-goal victory.
But it was the Bloods who came out firing in the opening quarter as both Birch and Lagoulis helped their side create a nine-goal term.
Montmorency couldn’t get anything going in the attacking end, only managing three goals to head into quarter time six goals down.
The second quarter again belonged to the Bloods who produced what would be their highest scoring quarter of the game (12 goals). The Magpies defenders couldn’t stop the attacking flow and had to make up a 15-goal deficit following the half time break.
It was a better third term from Montmorency who produced a more competitive quarter. Goal attack Amy Clay scored all four of her side’s majors to make it eight for the game at that point.
But Lalor still managed to win the term, with a seven-goal quarter extending the margin out to 18 goals at three quarter time.
The Bloods ensured a final term comeback was not on the cards from their opponents, putting on another brilliant final quarter by scoring 11 majors, to book their place in the grand final.
Section 8: Diamond Creek 5 vs Bundoora 5
After a slow first half, Bundoora produced incredible third and fourth quarters to assure their place in the Section 8 grand final, winning by 16 goals over Diamond Creek.
Four goals separated the two teams at the main break before an astonishing 23 goal to nine second half surged the Bulls towards a 40-24 victory.
Amy Holliday was hard to stop in the attacking circle, shooting 34 goals with all of them coming in the final three terms. Her influence in the attacking end was the catalyst to Bundoora’s victory.
Skylar Bartolo top scored for Diamond Creek with 17 majors, her third highest total in a game this season, while Demi Mahony finished with seven goals.
Both sides finished with the same record by the end of the regular season with Diamond Creek just edging out the Bulls on percentage to win the double chance.
The Creekers couldn’t get past the top of the table Hume while the Bulls took care of Heat in the first semi-final, to set up an enthralling preliminary final match up.
In their two meetings this year, Bundoora came from four goals down at three quarter time to win by two goals in Round 3 while most recently in Round 10, the Bulls again defeated the Creekers, this time by five majors.
Diamond Creek started well, stretching out to an early five goal lead off the back of seven majors from Barolo. The Bulls couldn’t take their opportunities in the attacking circle and as a result, trailed by three goals at the main break.
When Holliday came on in the second term for Bundoora, the momentum shifted completely as she scored 12 of the Bulls’ 13 goals to help regain the lead for her side at half time.
Holliday continued her brilliant form into the third quarter, making seven consecutive shots to help Bundoora break away from their opponents. The Creekers, struggled to keep the ball in their front court and when they did, they couldn’t convert well enough to keep up with the Bulls.
A 10 goal three quarter time lead for Bundoora put them in the box seat to move towards the grand final and any chance of them faltering in the final quarter was gone when Holliday continued her impressive game.
She scored 10 of her side’s 11 last quarter goals to finish off the Bulls win in style.