Sale in running for netball titles

SALE will play in both Eastern Region State League netball grand finals tomorrow night.

A second quarter blitz set the scene for Sale’s open division team as it avenged its only loss for the season against Mid Gippsland in the semi-finals last Friday night.

Sale scored 17 goals to Mid’s 10 in the second quarter and while Mid Gippsland fought its way back, it was too little too late with Sale eventually winning 45-43 to set up a grand final against North Gippsland Red.

North Gippsland Red progressed to the premiership decider with a 54-39 win over Morwell Indoor.

With Morwell struggling to get into the match, North benefited from the safe hands of Sheree Wilson in defence and the accuracy of Jamilee Pearce in attack. North led by 10 goals early, affording it the luxury of regular changes to give all players quality court time in preparation for the grand final.

The open grand final will be played at the Churchill Leisure Centre from 8.30pm.

IN the 17 and under division, Sale came back from three goals down at the beginning of the final term to defeat underdog Alberton 44-37.

Sale made numerous changes throughout the game, but it came down to the last when Ella Bertacchini moved from goal attack to goal shooter, bringing Jami Cashman off the bench into goal attack to score 10 goals from 13 attempts, taking Alberton’s defence by surprise.

Sale will be aiming for back-to-back premierships when it plays Mid Gippsland tomorrow night from 7pm.

Against favourite East Gippsland, some erratic decision making should have put Mid Gippsland out of the match but East didn’t have the vision to see its opponent’s mid-court players were struggling under the pressure. This gave Mid Gippsland the opportunity to claw its way back and force extra time.

Scores were level at 48-48 thanks to a goal from Mid’s Saskia Heathcote seconds before the final siren.

During extra time, Mid Gippsland eventually earned the right to play off in the grand final causing an upset, 62-60.

For more netball, read Friday’s Gippsland Times.