Pressure on ahead of netball finals

THE pressure is on in the Eastern Regional State League netball’s 17 and under division.

Following the fifth round on Friday night, Mid Gippsland and Alberton are fighting it out for fourth place with only two rounds remaining before the finals.

Undefeated ladder leader Sale had the bye.

Mid Gippsland was competitive against Pakenham early, trailing by just two goals at quarter-time, but was powerless to stop its opponent, led by Alicia Scott, who secured 10 goals in the second quarter and 31 from 37 attempts.

Mid Gippsland was unable to make it two wins in a row as Pakenham brought it back to earth with a thud in a 51-34 result.

Gippsland laid down the foundation for its 61-27 victory by restricting North Gippsland to just seven goals in the first quarter and only nine in the third. North struggled to recover after a slow start, throwing away too many opportunities.

Only one goal separated East Gippsland and Alberton at half-time before East was able to pull out in front during the third quarter as Alberton’s defence weakened leaving players free in the goal circle.

Alberton was able to find some drive in the final quarter, closing the gap to only five goals, but it was too late eventually going down 39-34 to a more determined East Gippsland.

IN the Open division, Gippsland underlined its dominance, beating Alberton 61-24 in an impressive display.

Errors cost Morwell Red early in the first quarter as Morwell Navy slowly carved out a lead over the first three quarters before running away with the match in the fourth as its goal attack netted nine out of 12 attempts, while Courtney Garth displayed remarkable efforts at the defensive end. Navy won 52-44.

North Gippsland had the bye.

ON Friday night at Churchill, Sale’s 17 and under team will return from the bye to play Gippsland, with both teams looking to keep their perfect records intact. North Gippslad will play East Gippsland and North Gippsland will take on Pakenham, while Mid Gippsland will have the bye.

In the open division, teams will play two or three matches tonight in a test of fitness and physical abilities.