Sport

Netball Weekend Forecast - Echuca desperate to lock down top three spot

By Brayden May

■With two more matches left in the season to lock down a top three spot, ECHUCA is back up against an old foe this week.

Echuca looked to be a far better side when the Bombers and Shepparton Swans met in round six, only to be on the wrong end of a stunning performance.

The Swans outclassed the Bombers in a way few would have expected, and began a rough patch for the Bombers, losing three games in five weeks.

While Echuca is going along quite nicely now, it would be huge for them to slay some mental demons against the Swans.

It’s also a solid warm up for finals, preparing them for some huge contests in the next few weeks.

■With just two games in the home and away season remaining, ECHUCA UNITED look likely to face rivals Moama in the first week of finals.

Unless Rumbalara somehow lose one of their final two games, the Eagles can’t finish on top of the ladder.

Now their main focus is putting the right structures into place to surprise the competition by beating the juggernaut.

Saturday’s game against Tongala provides United with a perfect opportunity to build towards a premiership charge.

While Tonny sit inside the top eight, United’s class across the court will be far too much for a young Blues outfit.

Lisa Drysdale’s side should be rejuvenated following a week off and may be able to put the game beyond doubt before half-time.

But throughout the season, they have proven to be a little slow out of the blocks after a week’s rest which suggests this one could be closer than suggested.

We’re expecting them to have learnt from their mistakes earlier in the season.

■MOAMA were as ready as they could be for the mighty Rumbalara on Saturday, but it just wasn’t their day as the weather robbed them of a good start.

So we continue on.

Their final two matches of the season aren’t really going to teach us much about Moama, as their opponent this week Barooga and next week in Katandra are unlikely to provide a lot of competition, so Moama needs to bring their own.

They need to absolutely dominate these teams as a warm-up for finals.

Expect a heavily dominant performance from Moama here.

■TONGALA are on the verge of making the finals in the netball.

But it isn’t going to be easy to get there.

They will need to win at least one of their final matches, with next week against Nathalia the likely contest to do so.

This week they play United, who caught fire this season, and should give the Blues a bit of a touch up.

Realistically, this match may just be a bit of damage control for the Blues — don’t lose by too much and keep your season in the right position before the final match.

■LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER have endured a torrid time this season and it is likely they will face a tough ending against White Hills.

The Bombers have struggled to produce their best netball consistently throughout the season and they’ll be hoping they’ve saved their best for last.

While a win does look extremely unlikely, if they can produce a strong performance it will go down as a win in the minds of the players.