Key defenders to miss Blues’ decisive final

September 15, 2017

TONGALA Netball Club head coach Alicia White admitted it will be a depleted Blues team which lines up in tomorrow’s Murray Netball League preliminary final clash at Cobram.

The Blues will be fighting Deniliquin for the final spot in the Murray Netball League grand final after Moama secured its place last weekend.

‘‘We’ll just try and put our best foot forward in both teams (A and B grade),’’ White said.

‘‘We know we’re depleted. We will go in to the game without two of our best defenders, which has been difficult in terms of training and making up teams.’’

B grade defender Sharon Brennan injured her calf muscle on Saturday and A grade defender Amy O’Neill will also miss the game this weekend after spending the week in hospital with an illness.

‘‘We’ve still got some good players and even when we have been undermanned this year we have still managed to come out with the win,’’ White said.

‘‘We just need to be mindful of how many games and where everyone has played.

‘‘Abby and Sarah Pettifer will be back this week and bring a lot of experience and morale to the team.’’

Out of all the Murray teams, Tongala matched up best against Deniliquin but the Rams’ brought some big challenges when it came to their line-up.

‘‘Bec (White) is a big game player and incredibly accurate and Amelia Wyatt is another player we’ll need to shut down in the mid-court,’’ White said.

‘‘Wyatt was a strong link between each end and if we can combat her we will be in with a solid chance to win.’’

White said the Blues own goal-end will be crucial to the game, needing to capitalise off every centre pass.

‘‘It is up to them to step up and perform, if they’re accurate there’s no reason we shouldn’t win,’’ she said.

Defensively the Blues will count on White, Phillipa Inglis and Amy Hammond to stop Deniliquin in the middle third and keep up the pressure to turn the ball over.

A win tomorrow will give Tongala a second chance at defeating Moama — only this time in the grand final — after losing in the second semi-final at Barooga.

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