BY NATHAN DOLE
GISBORNE has made its way to Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL’s A-grade netball grand final.
The Taryn Rymer-coached Gisborne outpointed Castlemaine to score a 49-36 victory in last Saturday’s preliminary final at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Less than a week after a stunning one-goal win to end Kangaroo Flat’s season, Castlemaine was aiming to repeat the feat.
It was not to be as an experienced and talented Gisborne team controlled a lot of the play against a Castlemaine team jointly coached by key defender Fiona Fowler and Gary Cooke.
The Bulldogs had beaten the Magpies by margins of eight goals and a goal in the home-and-away series.
A 13-goal win by the red, white and blue has set-up a grand final showdown with the Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst next Saturday.
The grand finalists met in the second semi where Sandhurst won a top contest, 44-38.
Key players for Gisborne include co-captains Kirby Elliott and Claudia Mawson, Zoe Davies and Tiana Newman.
A grand final victory by Gisborne would deny Sandhurst an incredible tally of five consecutive premierships.
Grand final day will feature Sandhurst in all five matches, and Gisborne in four.
A 48-37 win by Gisborne in the A-reserve preliminary final against Kangaroo Flat has earned a showdown with Sandhurst for the premiership.
Sandhurst fought on for a 47-42 win against Kangaroo Flat in the B-grade preliminary final.
The Dragons take on Gisborne on grand final day.
Kangaroo Flat will vie for the B-reserve title with Sandhurst.
The Kangaroos scored a 42-32 victory against Gisborne in the preliminary final.
A pursuit of back-to-back 17-and-under premierships for Gisborne rolled on after the Bulldogs won the preliminary final against Golden Square by nine goals.
The red, white and blue won 46-37 to set up a clash with Sandhurst to start grand final day at the QEO in View Street.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Queen Elizabeth Oval:
17-and-under at 9am: Sandhurst v Gisborne.
B-reserve at 10.30am: Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat.
B-grade at 12pm: Gisborne v Sandhurst.
A-reserve at 1.30pm: Sandhurst v Gisborne.
A-grade at 3pm: Sandhurst v Gisborne.