Magpies end season on a high

THE Magpies managed to tip the Parrots off their perch, when Sale beat Leongatha by a single goal in round 18 of Gippsland League netball.

In both the teams’ final game for the season, the evenly-matched sides went goal for goal, until Sale broke ahead to lead by four goals at half-time.

In the final quarter, Leongatha fought back to outscore Sale, but it wasn’t enough to get over the line, as Sale hung on to scoop their fourth win of the season 44-43, in a nail-biting finish.

Sale coach Mel Johnston said every player contributed to the win, to cap six-from-six clean sweep wins across the grades for Sale.

Sale’s best were Tori Dessent in wing attack, shooter Hayley Castle who shot well under pressure, Morgan Mayne at midcourt and Kristy Glover in defence.

MAFFRA will enjoy finals from the sidelines, after it lost its final game of the season to Moe, 66-28.

Missing Meg Gordyn and Emma Allman to Victorian Netball League commitments, Maffra took its time arriving at the party, and had to recuperate from an embarrassing 11-0 lag as they failed to score for the first eight minutes.

It was an endurance test for Maffra’s defence, as, despite physical play, goal defence Meg Cromb and goal keeper Sarah Luke managed plenty of intercepts inside the ring, while wing defence Paige Biddle effectively shut down Moe’s feeding.

The Eagles had trouble capitalising on these turnovers with inaccurate shooting and strong defensive pressure from Moe goal keeper Shannon Freeman, who sent the ball straight back down the court as quickly as it had arrived.

Finishing in sixth, the Eagles will use the off-season to address gaps in their side to ensure a finals placing in 2019.

IN other matches, Warragul defeated Bairnsdale 52-38, Drouin overran Wonthaggi 69-53, and Traralgon upset ladder-leader Morwell 47-38.

Qualifying final, Saturday at Western Park, Warragul:

A grade: Traralgon v Moe, 2.15pm.

B grade: Moe v Morwell, 1pm.

C grade: Traralgon v Drouin, noon.

Under 17s: Traralgon v Maffra, 11am.

Under 15s: Bairnsdale v Drouin, 10am.

Under 13s: Leongatha v Wonthaggi, 9am.

Elimination final, Sunday at Morwell Recreation Reserve:

A grade: Drouin v Warragul, 2.15pm.

B grade: Wonthaggi v Warragul, 1pm.

C grade: Wonthaggi v Moe, noon.

Under 17s: Morwell v Moe, 11am.

Under 15s: Moe v Maffra, 10am.

Under 13s: Traralgon v Maffra, 9am.