Eastern books final showdown with Blues

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The four remaining teams battled it out in the local netball semi-finals at the Taward St courts last Saturday in the hopes of booking themselves a final spot this weekend.

Valley locked horns with Eastern and were downed 29-28 in a tightly contested clash. Gold coach Abbey Kingan said her players had no regrets over their performance and credited Eastern’s strong display.

“I am extremely proud of Merial Ancare Valley and wouldn’t have changed a thing on Saturday’s game,” she said.

“Valley have been building over the last few years and have finally made top four and have improved leaps and bounds from last year.”

“One goal was all the difference between two talented teams. Eastern played well and deserved the win but I’m proud of our fight back as we were down by eight at one stage.”

Eastern Coach Carmen Brenssell said she was pleased with her side’s buoyancy after taking a 20-point hiding from Valley that last time the two sides met a fortnight ago.

“After going down to Valley by 20 the week before, we knew the semi was going to be a huge task,” she said.

“We concentrated on breaking down their attack which finally gave us the run we needed in the third quarter with some excellent shooting from us.”

Brenssell, who will retire after Saturday’s match, said it was a great feeling to make the final with a team she started five years ago but expects a stiff challenge in Excelsior.

“Heading into the final this week, we are very excited to just be there,” she said.

“Excelsior are a very slick team and like us, have a team of old heads that can take and perform better under pressure.

“So this week will all depend on the ball going into the hoop.”

In the opposite fixture, experience provailed over youth as Excelsior were too strong for SKC snr A in a 44-18 tie.

Paula Symes said fatigue may have played a part in Blues victory and is expecting their final fixture with Eastern to be a big test.

“They (Eastern) played a really good game,” she said.

“They’ve got their combinations together and worked really hard.

“I think they (SKC snr A) were exhausted from the tournament week. We played well but I think they’ll be disappointed.

“Eastern have got talented netballers, so it’ll be very tough, but we’ll give it a good crack.”

By James Ford