BY NATHAN DOLE
COLBINABBIN is through to another A-grade netball grand final after a brilliant preliminary final win against Elmore on Saturday.
The Jen McIntyre-coached Colbinabbin went in as underdogs at Huntly’s Strauch Resreve against an Elmore team on the rebound from a loss to White Hills in the second semi-final.
That loss had broken Elmore’s unbeaten streak.
It was Colbinabbin which started confidently and led 20-17 at quarter-time.
Elmore made some changes and lifted its defence throughout the second term.
At half-time Colbinabbin held a 35-33 lead.
Colbinabbin turned it on with some amazing passages of play throughout the third term.
The green and gold charged to a nine-goal lead after they scored 20 goals in the term and held the Bloods to a tally of 13.
Colbinabbin had its starting seven on court in the final term and it finished strongly to clinch a 71-62 victory.
Ella Kerlin was best on court for Colbinabbin.
Elmore’s co-coach Gabe Richards was best for her team of which Allira Holmes was joint coach.
The Grasshoppers will now meet White Hills in next Saturday’s grand final at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
In the A-reserve clash, Elmore made a cracking start as it capitalised on handling and passing errors by North Bendigo.
The Bloods led 13-7 at quarter-time.
In the second it was North Bendigo which lifted its play, especially defensively.
The Bulldogs drew within two goals, but it was Elmore which fought back strongly.
North Bendigo won the term, 12-11, but it was Elmore which led 24-19 at the long break.
Play was hard-fought in the third term.
North Bendigo worked hard to be within four goals going into the last quarter.
Accurate goaling and the ability to make the most of turnovers were key factors as Elmore surged clear to record a 49-34 victory.
Sophie McLean was best on court for Elmore.
North Bendigo’s best player was Tyesha Rainsbury.
It was a great contest between Elmore and the Harlowe Huntly Hawks in B-grade.
The Hawks led 23-22 at half-time and 35-33 at a quarter to play.
Elmore kept working hard to record a 52-50 victory and a chance to play White Hills in the grand final.
Tynanah Case was best on court for Elmore.
Alisha Matthews was Huntly’s best.
In B-reserve the Harlowe Huntly Hawks made a great start to lead 12-9 by quarter-time of the clash with North Bendigo.
The Hawks led 24-17 at half-time and 30-24 going into the last quarter.
The brown and gold did plenty of attacking in a final term which it won 21-4 to record a 51-28 victory.
Melissa Matthews was best on court for Huntly.
Sophie Humphreys was North Bendigo’s best.
A great run by Mount Pleasant in the 17-and-under finals series kept rolling.
The Blues took on Lockington Bamawm United in the preliminary final.
Mount Pleasant led 16-10 at quarter-time and 29-20 by the long break.
All 12 players in the Mount Pleasant team had court-time as the Blues won 56-50.
Claire Dunstan was best on court for Mount Pleasant as Evie Ritchie was best for the LBU Cats.
It was goal-for-goal throughout most of the first quarter of the 15-under match between Elmore and the Harlowe Huntly Hawks.
An 11-9 lead for Huntly at quarter-time was 26-21 by half-time.
Elmore put together some amazing plays in the second half, but it was the brown and gold which was able to surge clear for a 50-43 victory.
Bella Clohesy was Huntly’s best.
The best on court award for Elmore went to Ameika White.
In the 13-under competition, Leitchville Gunbower made a great start against Heathcote to lead 7-3 at quarter-time.
Mid-courters in both teams worked well to put the ball into attack, while there was superb defensive play as well.
Leitchville Gunbower led 14-11 at half-time and 20-16 going into the final term.
The LG Bombers won the last, 8-6, and the match, 28-22.
Milla Ryan was Leitchville Gunbower’s best.
The best on court for Heathcote was Mylee Ayres.
There will be seven clubs represented in next Saturday’s grand finals at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
White Hills will have four teams chasing premiership glory.
Colbinabbin, Elmore, Huntly and Mount Pleasant will have two teams in action.
Among those first-up will be Lockington Bamawm United and Leitchville Gunbower in the 13-under match.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve:
13-under at 8.45am: Lockington Bamawm United v Leitchville Gunbower.
17-under at 8.45am: Colbinabbin v Mount Pleasant.
15-under at 10am: Mount Pleasant v Huntly.
B-reserve at 11:30am: White Hills v Huntly.
B-grade at 10:00am: White Hills v Elmore.
A-reserve at 1pm: White Hills v Elmore.
A-grade at 2.30pm: White Hills v Colbinabbin.