Sale and Maffra junior teams performing in Gippsland League netball finals

Sale under 17 wing attack Isobella Tatterson looks into the goal ring.
Sale under 17 wing attack Isobella Tatterson looks into the goal ring.

LOCAL clubs will be well-represented in the pointy end of Gippsland League netball finals, with Sale and Maffra fielding teams in the preliminary and grand finals.

Sale's junior program has been formidable all season, with under 17s, 15s and 13s finishing as minor premiers.

The Magpies continued their form into last weekend's semi-finals, with solid performances across the board. Sale managed a trifecta - booking a spot in all three junior grand finals.

In the under 13s, Sale had a confidence boosting win against Traralgon at Maffra on Saturday, more than doubling the Maroons' score to take home the win 31-14.

The Magpies now have a week off to reflect on grand final strategies, and will no doubt be following this weekend's preliminary final closely - will it be a battle of the birds grand final against Maffra, or another meeting with the Maroons?

Traralgon earned its spot in the first semi against Sale by beating Maffra by a shaky two goals in the qualifying final, but Maffra will now have the chance to reverse the scoreline this weekend.

The Eagles, no doubt charged from taking out the top two players in this year's Gippsland League best-and-fairest in Matilda Pendergast and Tayli Dimarco, comfortably defeated Moe 37-26 in miserable conditions at Traralgon on Sunday.

Maffra and Traralgon's last two games have resulted in close losses for the Eagles, but with much more at stake at this meeting, can the Eagles rise to the challenge?

IN the under 15s, Sale capably over-ran Bairnsdale, showing intensity usually reserved for the grand final.

Playing for club stalwart and netball advocate Kevin Hogan, the undefeated Magpies took no prisoners in the 38-11 win.

Sale's Charlotte Ronchi, who came seventh in the league's best-and-fairest, slotted 21 of the Magpies' goals, aided by Ruby Dillon with 17.

The Magpies will now face the winner of Maffra and Bairnsdale, after Maffra's win against Leongatha 46-32.

After being upset in the qualifying final by Bairnsdale by an agonising seven goals, the Eagles were hungry for a chance to prove why they finished the home-and-away season in second place.

Boasting a line-up which featured league best-and-fairest by more than 12 votes, Jasmyn Hennig, and equal runner-up Chelsea Allman, the Eagles burst out of the gate to regain lost ground and secure a spot in the preliminary final.

The Eagles will have even more to prove this weekend, and no doubt will be chomping at the bit come 10am Saturday.

IT was a lot closer in the under 17s, but Sale managed a nail-biting two-goal win over Morwell in a low-scoring battle.

With a team boasting five players in the top 20 league best-and-fairest, the Magpies pulled ahead for an heart-testing 22-20 win.

Sale will use the week off to work on expanding that margin out to a more comfortable distance for the health of coaches, parents and spectators.

Morwell will be smarting after coming so close to scoring a weekend off to prepare, but will now have to fight it out against a determined Wonthaggi side if it is to make a grand final appearance.

On Sunday, the Power trounced Moe 49-33 in a passionate display, being the only team to fly the flag for Wonthaggi in this finals series.

Maffra C grade goal defence Megan Raine intercepts a pass. Photos: Sam Crothers

Maffra C grade goal defence Megan Raine intercepts a pass. Photos: Sam Crothers

MAFFRA'S C grade side is the only local senior team to make it beyond the elimination finals, and will defend its 2018 title in the grand final after winning by two goals on Saturday.

Playing its biggest threat this season in Warragul, the Eagles scraped through by the skin of their teeth to take the low-scoring match, 23-21.

The minor premiers have one hand on the cup, and are well-placed to fly the flag once again, but early predictions indicate a close grand final - something Maffra will be familiar with, after its one-goal win against Traralgon in the 2018 premiership match.

The Gulls will now play Morwell to keep their grand final hopes alive, after the Tigers won against Leongatha on Sunday by a single goal, right on the siren.

TRARALGON advanced to the A grade grand final after defeating minor premier Morwell 48-38 in the second semi-final.

The Tigers will be looking to bounce back in the preliminary final against Moe, which defeated Warragul by six goals in the first semi-final.

IN B grade, Traralgon defeated Leongatha 30-25 in the second semi-final, and Moe ended Warragul's season with a 12-goal victory in the first semi.

Gippsland League preliminary final

Saturday at Morwell Recreation Reserve:

A grade: Morwell v Moe, 2.15pm.

B grade: Leongatha v Moe, 1pm.

C grade: Warragul v Morwell, noon.

Under 17s: Morwell v Wonthaggi, 11am.

Under 15s: Bairnsdale v Maffra, 10am.

Under 13s: Traralgon v Maffra, 9am.

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