Saints in unchartered territory

A GRADE 
MILLICENT
V NORTH GAMBIER

Millicent and North Gambier have played three high quality, tight matches in 2021 and the preliminary final looms as another epic battle.

Preliminary final day is unchartered territory for the reigning premiers but the Saints will still be a force.

North Gambier had a stunning opening half against West Gambier and will need a four-quarter effort this weekend.

North defenders Maddie Whaites and Noni McConnell refuse to give an inch and face another daunting task, denying supply to Millicent shooter Tabatha Sanderson and also rein in the creativity of Demi Verbena.

The mid courts are both all class – Millicent’s Lucy Denton, Lisa Duldig and Paige Nitschke up against North’s Mel Renko, Brianna Walters and Teneille Barry.

Millicent has a title to defend and a point to prove – there is life after Donna Denton and Hayley Dunn – and they will make it four narrow wins for 2021 and advance to the title decider.

A RESERVE 
NORTH GAMBIER
V EAST GAMBIER

North Gambier challenged top ranked Millicent strongly last weekend in the A Reserve second semi-final and will be eager to earn another shot at the reigning champions.

On the flip side, East Gambier knows they got out of jail at the weekend, letting the Roos back in after they set up a solid lead and it will need to be a four quarter effort to topple the Tigers.

Tigers’ defenders Emily Stafford and Jessie Little are arguably the best defensive duo in the competition, while Chloe Perryman looms as the X-factor for East Gambier.

East will not die wondering but the Tigers should earn their rematch with the Saints on grand final day.

B GRADE 
MILLICENT
V NORTH GAMBIER

The B Grade preliminary final does not have the same form line as some of the other finals as North Gambier did not hit the court when Casterton Sandford were disappointingly stuck in lockdown.

South coach Jacqui Matthews will be ironing out the wrinkles at training this week, while Ash Whan, Brianna Lush and Georgia Tarca will front North’s assault.

The Tigers will challenge and ironically might be hampered by no competitive netball for a fortnight but the Saints should bounce back and earn another chance to knock off South Gambier.

C GRADE 
NORTH GAMBIER
V SOUTH GAMBIER

South Gambier enters the clash full of confidence after their upset win, while North Gambier is coming off a loss to Millicent.

Bailey Young and Hannah Fox are a strong shooting combination, but South also has a strong shooting circle with Brooke Winterfield and Ella Egan.

Betting against the tenacious Demons is a risk but the Tigers should advance to try and deny the Saints the 2021 C Grade premiership.

17 and UNDER
 SOUTH GAMBIER
V WEST GAMBIER

The 17 and Under battle looms as the match of the day.

South has won all three clashes in 2021 but none of those victories were easy and with some of the best talent in the association on show, this will be a high-quality arm wrestle.

The smarts of Alyssa Duncan will be critical for the Demons, while West defender Maddie Milich is coming off a strong semi final effort.

Much will depend on which team looks after the ball best and which team can apply relentless pressure.

15 AND UNDER A
 NORTH GAMBIER
V WEST GAMBIER

North Gambier really took it up to an undermanned Millicent at the weekend’s semi final and it was only a drop off in the second half that saw the margin blow out slightly.

The Tigers have rising stars in every area of the court with Stella Mobbs and Tenielle Human a formidable defensive combination.

Leila Croker and Lucy Simpson are coming off a strong semi-final performance for the Roos and will again need to be at their best if an upset is to be on the cards.

15 AND UNDER B
 CASTERTON SANDFORD
V MILLICENT

Everyone has their fingers crossed the 15 and Under B Cats will be able to cross the border and continue their season after finishing minor premiers.

Millicent was impressive in its win over West Gambier with Mackinlee Alcock dominating in defence and Hailey McGrath finishing strongly in the shooting circle.

13 AND UNDER A
 NORTH GAMBIER
V SOUTH GAMBIER

Despite losing the 13 and Under A second semi-final by 17 goals North Gambier looked outstanding.

Ruby Mitchell and Kelsie Anderson were strong in defence and got their hands on plenty of ball, while at the other end, Claire Mitchell was strong on the hold.

South has a hard running mid court with Ruby Milich and Kasey Sims leading the way and will not make it easy for North but the Tigers should get the job done.

13 AND UNDER B
 MILLICENT
V WEST GAMBIER

The 13 and Under B preliminary final is another hard read with West Gambier another team that sat out last weekend when the Victorian lockdown was extended.

Millicent starts favourite with players the calibre of Kalani Dunn, Jeda Hibberd, Asha Gysbers and Poppy Thorne.

The Roos will rely on Ella McKenny, Lila Pearson, Sophia Pollifrone, Lara Murdoch and Maggy Dyson.

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