HDFNL Finals Week 1 Preview | Stakes up as netball finals action begins


STAKES are raised markedly this weekend as netball finals action for Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL teams begins.

First-up is Saturday’s qualifying finals at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.

Teams which finished second and third will vie for a shot at a second semi-final.

On Sunday it’s elimination finals at Hibo Hotel Oval in North Bendigo’s Atkins Street.

A week after they met in the 18th round, White Hills and Colbinabbin will contest the A-grade qualifying final on Heathcote’s court.

The Lauren Bowles-coached White Hills has won both hit-outs against the Grasshoppers.

In round nine, White Hills won a great contest on its court at Winslow Constructors Oval in Scott Street.

The red and black led 54-51 at the final whistle.

Last Saturday the Demons were too strong on Colbinabbin’s court at M.J. Morgan Oval.

Led by brilliant mid-court Danni Wee Hee, White Hills claimed a 54-43 victory.

Last season’s runner-up, White Hills has a strong squad that includes Tegan Elliston, Amy Morrissey and Alyssa Cole.

The Jen McIntyre-coached Colbinabbin has put together a great season to achieve a win-loss tally of 12-4.

On Sunday it’s Heathcote and Mount Pleasant who will fight to stay in the premiership race.

The Saints and Blues have shared the wins in this season’s showdowns.

A Mount Pleasant team coached by Carine Comer put in a brilliant final quarter to score a 38-36 victory against Heathcote on the Blues’ court at Toolleen in the sixth round.

The return clash in the 15th round at Heathcote ended in a 47-36 win for the Saints as the club ran its Memorial Day.

Players to watch for Heathcote include co-coaches Brooke Bolton in the centre, and Kelsey Hayes at goal defence.

The Saints also have Jen Van Neutegem as goalkeeper, and Georgia Bolton and Annalyse Carroll in attack.

A highlight of the Blues’ win against Lockington Bamawm United last Saturday was the play of goalshooter Ava Nihill, goalkeeper Ivy Harrop, and Aish and Kealy Tupper in mid-court.

In the A-reserve competition, White Hills and North Bendigo will contest Saturday’s qualifying final.

The Demons have won both matches against the Bulldogs by margins of eight and 18 goals.

On Sunday it’s Colbinabbin against Mount Pleasant in the elimination final.

Colbinabbin won the round three clash with the Blues on the Grasshoppers’ court by 18 goals.

Next time it was the Blues who marked a 51-40 victory at Toolleen.

The B-grade qualifying final features Mount Pleasant against Colbinabbin.

Both matches in the run to the finals were won by the Blues.

Mounts won 51-35 at Colbinabbin in round three and then 43-26 at home in the 12th round.

Elmore takes on the Harlowe Huntly Hawks in Sunday’s elimination final.

Most recent meeting between the Bloods and Hawks was in round 10 where Elmore won 50-35 at home.

In B-reserve, White Hills takes on Mount Pleasant in the qualifying final.

It’s a win apiece from this season’s showdowns.

In round five the Demons won 35-32 at White Hills.

Mount Pleasant controlled a lot of the play to record a 54-45 win at Toolleen in the 14th round.

North Bendigo has home-court advantage for Sunday’s elimination final against Elmore.

Been in the home of the Bulldogs will not faze the Bloods who won 45-42 at North Bendigo last Saturday.

In round nine, North Bendigo won 53-35 on Elmore’s court.

Colbinabbin takes on Heathcote in the 17-under qualifying final.

Most recent match between the Grasshoppers and Saints ended in a 51-26 victory for Heathcote at Pigeon Park.

Mount Pleasant meets Huntly in the elimination final.

In round two, Huntly won 40-38 at Toolleen.

The Blues bounced back for a 47-38 victory against the Harlowe Huntly Hawks at Strauch Reserve in the 11th round.

Huntly will also feature in the 15-under qualifying final against Elmore.

The Hawks defeated the Bloods, 40-34 at Elmore in the 10th round.

White Hills takes on Lockington Bamawm United in the elimination final.

Both matches this season were won by the Demons.

In round six, White Hills won 36-28 at Lockington’s Nichol Trading Oval.

A closely-fought match in the 15th round at White Hills ended in a 37-31 win for the Demons.

First of this season’s finalis is the 13-under qualifying final between Leitchville Gunbower and Heathcote from 8.45am on Saturday.

The teams are one-all in this season’s meetings.

In round two, Heathcote netted a 26-21 win at home.

The LG Bombers won 36-17 at Gunbower in the 11th round.

Huntly faces Colbinabbin in the elimination final.

The Hawks have won both hit-outs against the Grasshoppers.

In round six, Huntly won 24-15 at Strauch Reserve.

Defences were on top as the Hawks clawed their way to a 10-7 victory at Colbinabbin in the 15th round.

Schedule for Saturday’s qualifying finals at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve:

13-under at 8.45am: Leitchville Gunbower v Heathcote.

15-under at 10am: Huntly v Elmore.

17-under at 8.45am: Colbinabbin v Heathcote.

B-reserve at 12.30pm: White Hills v Mount Pleasant.

B-grade at 11.15am: Elmore v Huntly.

A-reserve at 1.45pm: White Hills v North Bendigo.

A-grade at 3pm: White Hills v Colbinabbin.

Draw for Sunday’s elimination finals at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street, North Bendigo:

13-under at 9.30am: Huntly v Colbinabbin.

15-under at 11am: White Hills v Lockington Bamawm United.

17-under at 9.30am: Mount Pleasant v Huntly.

B-reserve at 12.30pm: North Bendigo v Elmore.

B-grade at 11am: Mount Pleasant v Colbinabbin.

A-reserve at 12.30pm: Colbinabbin v Mount Pleasant.

A-grade at 2pm: Heathcote v Mount Pleasant.

Teams through to second semi-finals to be played on September 2 at M.J. Morgan Oval in Colbinabbin:

Elmore, A-grade; White Hills, B-grade; Huntly, B-reserve; Lockington Bamawm United, 17-under, 13-under; and Mount Pleasant, 15-under.