One Sale team left in netball finals

Sale goal keeper Alex Stephenson makes a leap during the under 15 first semi-final against Bairnsdale.

Sale goal keeper Alex Stephenson makes a leap during the under 15 first semi-final against Bairnsdale.

AFTER beginning the Gippsland League netball finals with four teams alive, Sale have only one remaining.

The under 13s shot through to the grand final, after defeating Bairnsdale in wet wintry conditions at Moe on Saturday.

Sale led 9-4 at the first change, and gradually increased its lead to book a grand final berth, taking the win 30-18.

Sale's under 15s weren't quite as lucky, after a fortified Bairnsdale side steadied after level scores at half time to take the win 45-42.

Maffra wing defence Joanna Gieschen looks for a passing option during the C grade first semi-final against Traralgon.

Maffra wing defence Joanna Gieschen looks for a passing option during the C grade first semi-final against Traralgon.

MAFFRA'S finals hopes are still well and truly kicking, after wins in under 13s, under 17s and C grade.

The under 13s went right down to the wire, as Traralgon and Maffra went goal for goal with scores level.

Maffra played well under pressure, and held on to win 30-27.

Maffra will play Bairnsdale in the preliminary finals on Saturday at Morwell.

Sitting atop the ladder all year, Maffra's under 17s side had a comfortable win over Traralgon, defeating them 46-32.

Working through the junior ranks together with a few premierships already tucked away, the players worked cohesively on court and used channels well to anticipate the next move before it happened.

Coach Mikahla Callahan named A grade regulars Emma Allman in midcourt and Emerson Connolly in defence as her two best-on-courts.

The team will have this weekend off to prepare for the grand final, and will be playing the victor of Traralgon and Moe, to be decided this weekend.

Showing spectators what finals is all about, Maffra's C grade defeated Traralgon in a 40-38 thriller.

A second-quarter swap that put keeper Megan Raine in goal defence and Renee Potts and her long arms back in keeper proved profitable for the Eagles, as they managed to reel in any rebounds and lobs in the goal ring.

Crediting an all-round team effort, coach Maddy Bates named goal shooter Anna Gaw and Potts as best-on-court.

"A few stops from defence, and Anna being able to convert all the goals ... it was so exciting," Bates said.

Bates said wing defence Jo Gieschen also had a "ripper game", shutting down her opposition and applying immense defensive pressure.

After a draw and a loss to Wonthaggi during the season, the Eagles will face the Power in the preliminary final next week at Morwell.

Bates said the team will be working on their defensive pressure down the court, and will aim to play with as much confidence as Sunday's game.

IN a repeat of last year's A grade grand final, Drouin upset this season's ladder leader Traralgon 61-54 in the second semi-final, while Morwell knocked Moe out of contention, 50-37.

Traralgon will have a second chance at nabbing the premiership cup, when it faces off against Morwell on the Tigers' home court on Saturday for a spot in the grand final against Drouin.

Gippsland League preliminary final

Saturday at Morwell:

A grade: Traralgon v Morwell, 2.15pm.

B grade: Leongatha v Traralgon, 1pm.

C grade: Wonthaggi v Maffra, noon.

Under 17s: Traralgon v Moe, 11am.

Under 15s: Wonthaggi v Bairnsdale, 10am.

Under 13s: Bairnsdale v Maffra, 9am

Gippsland Senior
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