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2018 HDFNL netball grand final | History-making showdown awaits between Natimuk United and Laharum

COMPOSURE: Laharum centre Courtney Guy makes a pass during an intense preliminary final encounter with Edenhope-Apsley in front of a huge crowd at Quantong at the weekend. The Demons won the match to progress to Saturday’s grand final against Natimuk United. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

COMPOSURE: Laharum centre Courtney Guy makes a pass during an intense preliminary final encounter with Edenhope-Apsley in front of a huge crowd at Quantong at the weekend. The Demons won the match to progress to Saturday’s grand final against Natimuk United. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

By SARAH SCULLY
They have been a step above the rest of the Horsham District competition all season and come Saturday, either Natimuk United or Laharum will have its name etched into the history books.
The Ewes have enjoyed a week on the sidelines after qualifying for the ‘big dance’ during a second semi-
final a fortnight ago, while the Demons fought their way through in a bruising encounter with surprise packet Edenhope-Apsley.
The first half was full of errors, turnovers and missed opportunities, although the Saints looked to have the upper hand.
Their fast, long, risk-taking style was paying off and if not for the defensive efforts of Laharum keeper Rebecca McIntyre and the notoriously ‘bouncy’ Quantong rings, they could have taken a lead into half time.
Up the other end, Laharum’s goalies took a while to warm up and struggled to convert under pressure from defenders Alex Lang and Cynthia Watt, who stole several rebounds.
Scores were level at half time but towards the end of the third quarter, the tide turned as Laharum shooters Caitlin Story and Maddie Iredell shot with more confidence to help the side to a five-goal lead by the last break.
In the final term, the Demons shut down the Saints’ long, fast game and created headaches for the side as it tried to move the ball out of defence.
Goalies Krystal Schapel and Sarah Domaschenz struggled to make up the deficit and Watt couldn’t seem to do anything right in the dying stages as Laharum powered to a 12-goal victory.
While they would have been disappointed not to make the grand final, the Saints would have to be thrilled with their efforts this year.
As for Laharum, the Demons would have been pleased – and after a flawless home-and-away season more than a little relieved – with the win. Co-coach Story said while the match wasn’t pretty, she was excited to make another grand final and will enter it with confidence.
“We will continue with the same game plan we had against Nati two weeks ago and we will just go out there and do our best,” she said.

PHOTOS | HDFNL preliminary final action from Quantong

Story said she was pleased with the way her charges fought out the preliminary final and did not crumble under the intense pressure.
That ability to remain cool despite adversity and to continue to plug away will be vital this week when the Demons meet the most stable team in the competition.
Experience plays a key role in finals and Natimuk United tends to thrive under pressure.
Coach Cheryl Sudholz hopes her charges can do so this week.
“The semi-final was one of those games that could have gone either way,” she said.
“It was anyone’s game the whole way through and we were lucky to hold on in the last few minutes.
“We’re expecting another high-
pressure game this week.
“Both teams have brilliant defences and goalies and we all know the key match-up is between our shooter Shannon Couch and their defender Beck McIntyre – you can’t get a closer match in terms of height and pressure.
“We also know our previous results don’t count for anything, it will all come down to what happens on the day.”
The teams have met twice this season, with Laharum winning by 11 goals in round nine and the Ewes triumphing in the second semi-final by a solitary goal.
Spectators will be banking on another cracker encounter this week in a match too hard to call.
There are solid match-ups across the court and both sides have a good mix of youth and experience. They also both have plenty to play for, with the Ewes looking to go back to back and the Demons looking to break through for a flag after several promising seasons.
Story said a Laharum flag would be history-making.
“We’ve never won an A Grade flag and a lot of the older ladies around the club were a bit emotional when we made the grand final,” she said.
“A premiership wouldn’t just mean a lot to the team, but to the whole club.”
Sudholz said Natimuk United had not won back-to-back A Grade flags in her time at the club, if at all.
“It would mean a lot,” she said.
“We also have our C Grade and under-17s in, so we will have a big support base cheering us on, as usual.
“As for A Grade, hopefully we can do it again. There is nothing like the feeling of winning a premiership. Once you’ve got one, it’s like an addiction.”
Preliminary final results: Laharum 34 d Edenhope-Apsley 22.

The entire September 12, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Sep 12 2018

Posted by on Sep 12 2018. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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