Demons fight Bloods for A-grade premiership
A SHOWDOWN between White Hills and Elmore for the A-grade netball premiership will cap Saturday’s grand finale to the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League season.
Seven clubs will be represented across the seven netball grand finals.
The Demons and Bloods were the two dominant teams throughout the home-and-away series and will fight for A-grade premiership glory on Huntly’s court at Strauch Reserve.
Being in action on that “one day in September” is not new to White Hills which has regularly featured in the A-grade decider.
The Lauren Bowles-coached White Hills has achieved a 2-1 record against Elmore in the run to the grand final.
These clubs first met in round five where Elmore, which is jointly coached by Allira Holmes and Gabe Richards, won 62-55 on the White Hills court in Scott Street.
A stunning 66-57 victory by the Demons at Elmore in the 14th round ended a 22-game winning streak by Elmore across what was a shortened 2021 season and then into ’22.
Finals action began with a 71-42 victory for the Allira Holmes and Gabe Richards-coached Elmore in the qualifying final against Mount Pleasant at Lockington.
A week later and White Hills faced Elmore in the second semi-final at Gunbower.
On that occasion it was the Demons whose defensive work was capitalised on to record a 61-56 victory.
Elmore kept premiership hopes alive by scoring a 70-43 win against Colbinabbin in last Saturday’s preliminary final at White Hills.
Key players for White Hills include Tegan Elliston in defence, Alyssa Cole and Olivia Treloar in attack, Lauren Bowles and Danielle Wee-Hee in mid-court.
The Demons’ squad includes Rhiana Broadbent, Britney Fitzpatrick, Molly Johnston, Zoe Kennedy and Alana Prime.
The height and rebounding strength of Gabe Richards in the attacking circle is a major strength for Elmore.
The athletic Tanee Cannan could start in defence or be switched to a mid-court role.
Other players to watch for the red and white are Abbey Hromenko, Cayde Hayes and Kelsey Niven.
After being sidelined because of injury for the second semi, a possible return by Andrea Wilson to mid-court would be a massive bonus for Elmore.
The Bloods squad also includes Allira Holmes and Ellie Laffy.
The A-reserve grand final features Colbinabbin against Elmore.
A thrilling season opener on April 2 at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Reserve ended in a 32-31 win for the Grasshoppers.
Just a few weeks later and Elmore beat Colbinabbin, 40-24, at Elmore.
The Grasshoppers won a qualifying final showdown with White Hills, 59-58.
In a dramatic second semi-final, White Hills led 33-19 of the clash with Elmore when the game was called off at half-time.
Elmore had not filled in the scoresheet correctly.
The Bloods put that behind them to win last Saturday’s preliminary final against White Hills, 41-39.
It’s two-one in favour of Colbinabbin going into the B-grade grand final against Elmore.
The Bloods dominated the season opener, 49-17, but Colbinabbin hit back superbly to score a 53-51 win on Elmore’s court in round three.
The Grasshoppers stared their finals campaign with a 48-46 win against Huntly in the qualifying final and then beat Elmore, 49-42 in the second semi.
A hard-fought 34-31 win against Huntly in the preliminary final kept the Bloods in the title chase.
Huntly takes on Mount Pleasant in the B-reserve grand final.
The Hawks have won both showdowns with the Blues this season.
Huntly won at home, 39-33 in round five and 34-20 at Toolleen in the 14th round.
A 42-33 victory in the second semi-final against Leitchville Gunbower put Huntly into the grand final.
It’s been a much tougher run for Mounts which won the elimination final against Elmore, 42-33, and followed up with a 36-35 victory against White Hills in the first semi.
The Blues’ run kept rolling in a 35-32 result against Leitchville-Gunbower in the preliminary final.
Lockington Bamawm United takes on Mount Pleasant in the 17-and-under grand final.
The Cats have won all three contests with the Blues – 51-26 in round six at Toolleen, 47-41 at Lockington in round 15, and 44-39 in the second semi.
After a 39-27 win against White Hills in the qualifying final, Mounts could not halt LBU’s charge a week later.
The Blues bounce back for a 43-33 victory in the preliminary final against the Demons on their court at White Hills.
It’s the Cats and Blues in the 15-under decider.
LBU will start favourite to take the silverware.
The Cats beat the Blues by 15 goals in round six, by 23 in the 15th, and 11 in the second semi-final.
Mount Pleasant started the finals by scoring a 35-20 win against North Bendigo in the qualifying final and hit back from a second semi defeat to beat Elmore, 35-24 in the preliminary final.
The Bloods take on the Bombers as Elmore faces Leitchville-Gunbower in the 13-and-under grand final.
This season’s meetings stand at two-one in favour of Elmore.
In round seven, Leitchville-Gunbower won 35-7 at home, but Elmore hit back for a 34-14 victory in the 16th round.
Just a few weeks later and the Bloods won the qualifying final showdown with the LG line-up, 22-19, and then scored a 22-20 victory in the second semi-final clash with LBU.
Leitchville-Gunbower won the first semi against Heathcote by 28 goals and then defeated LBU, 22-15 in the preliminary final.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve:
13-under at 8.45am: Elmore v Leitchville-Gunbower.
15-under at 8.45am: Lockington Bamawm United v Mount Pleasant.
17-under at 10am: Lockington Bamawm United v Mount Pleasant.
B-reserve at 10am: Huntly v Mount Pleasant.
B-grade at 11.30am: Colbinabbin v Elmore.
A-reserve at 1pm: Colbinabbin v Elmore.
A-grade at 2.30pm: White Hills v Elmore.
Written by Nathan Dole.