Sport

Echuca United C grade aim for perfect ending

By Brayden May

IF ECHUCA United's C grade netballers are to come away with a premiership on Saturday, they will need to win the battle above the shoulders.

After progressing through the season undefeated, the Eagles will enter the Murray Netball League grand final against Mulwala as red hot favourites.

And coach Caity Lourey knows all of the pressure will be on her side.

“When you're the top side everyone wants to beat you," she said.

“It's been a really exciting season so far - sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realise how far we have come.

“If we're able to keep a steady head it's going to make a massive difference between us winning and losing the game.”

One of the biggest challenges for United will be trying to keep the game played on their terms, with the two sides playing different brands of netball.

“Mulwala will take every opportunity to get out and run," Lourey said.

“They've got a lot of speed at both ends so we will want to slow the game down. We like to play slow and steady so we're able to take care of the ball.

“I think it is a game style which should be able to stand up well under the pressure of a grand final.”

As is often the saying in grand final week, a team effort will be required for United to finish the year with a perfect record.

But Lourey said captain Amy Sherlock will be crucial for her side's hopes.

“Amy gives everyone a sense of calm when she is in defence," she said.

“You always feel like the game is in your control when she has the ball in hand, she rarely makes a mistake.

“But defensively she has a great ability to read the ball and interrupt numerous opposition attacks.”

In their only other meeting with Mulwala this season, the Eagles came away with a 15-goal victory.