Sport

Two-goal margin

By Lauren Bordin

Nagambie’s unbeaten run has continued into the Kyabram District Netball League grand final after the Lakers overpowered Stanhope by two goals.

The Lakers and the Lions went full tilt at each other on Saturday as was expected from the top two sides.

Simply Abby Misiti’s side capitalised on its small opportunities to win the semi-final 41-39 at Murchison Recreation Reserve.

‘‘We’re thrilled to be going straight into the granny and a bit relieved to have a week off; a few of the girls need the week off to get everyone fit,’’ Misiti said.

Nagambie won the first quarter by a goal before Stanhope won a low-scoring second term by two goals to wrestle back the lead in a to-and-fro manner illustrative of the entire game.

Misiti said she was prepared for the match to head this way, despite winning by 19 goals in the sides’ only previous meeting in round four.

‘‘We did expect a tough game and we knew that it would be close despite the round four result, they’d had similar scorelines to us and we knew (Stanhope coach) Kerrie Gray had fine-tuned the squad and brought in a couple of players,’’ she said.

‘‘We didn’t play our best netball, but full credit to Stanhope’s defensive pressure, they didn’t allow us to play our normal type of netball.

‘‘We had a bit more of the ball in attack (in the second half) and more opportunities, but did some things like centre pass breaks, steps and held balls that we rarely do throughout the season, but it was just finals pressure.’’

The large crowd of spectators swelled in the last quarter as more came to watch the tight finish.

Entering the final term with Nagambie leading by a goal, the lead changed hands several times with supreme shooter Sharni Lloyd continuing to make her shots with composure.

Misiti also praised the work of veteran Alicia White for her leadership when the game could have gone either way, with Morgan Zotti important across the match.

Stanhope’s second chance comes this weekend when it meets Tallygaroopna in the preliminary final.

The Redlegs were too strong for Murchison-Toolamba at Stanhope Recreation Reserve yesterday in the 47-33 triumph.