BY NATHAN DOLE
ALL nine clubs in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL are represented across this weekend’s start to netball finals.
Action begins with Saturday’s qualifying finals at Bridgewater Recreation Reserve.
In A-grade it’s Mitiamo against Marong on court one from 3pm.
Last season’s runner-up, Mitiamo defeated the Panthers in both home-and-away matches.
The Jen Wilson-coached Superoos marked a 62-53 victory in the round nine match at Mitiamo’s John Forbes Oval.
Last Saturday, Mitiamo took the points in a 77-48 victory on Marong’s court at East West Oval in Malone Park.
The Superoos ended the regular season on a win-loss tally of 13-3.
Mitiamo has won its past six matches.
A multiple winner of the league’s fairest and best award, Mitiamo goaler Laura Hicks is in top form.
Other players to watch for the Superoos include Abbey Battersby, Caitlyn Hocking and Emma Pay.
Record for the Sue Borserio-coached Marong is 11 wins, one draw, four defeats.
The Panthers’ run across the past five rounds was loss, win, bye, win, win.
Marong may regain some key players for the final, and will also look for strong defensive games from Tracey O’Donnell and Mia McCrann-Peters.
The winner of Saturday’s qualifying final will play Maiden Gully YCW Eagles in the second semi-final on August 26 at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve or Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park.
The A-grade elimination final on Sunday features Pyramid Hill and Newbridge.
The Selina Holland-coached Newbridge will have home court advantage when the clash begins at 3pm on court one at Beck Legal Riverside Oval in Newbridge.
It’s been a dramatic rise by Pyramid Hill which won just three matches in A-grade last season.
This season’s meetings between the Bulldogs and Maroons both went Pyramid Hill’s way.
In round nine, the Gemma Scott-coached Pyramid Hill scored a 41-25 victory on its court at Mitchell Park against Newbridge.
Last Saturday’s round 18 clash was a prelude to the elimination final as the Maroons and Bulldogs met at Newbridge.
The team in red, white and blue won 65-41.
Abbey Dingwall and Mikayla Burge were best in Pyramid Hill’s latest victory.
Pyramid Hill’s season tally is 11 wins, one draw, four defeats, while Newbridge is on an 8-8 record.
The Bulldogs have won their past two matches.
Newbridge’s run in the final five rounds was loss, loss, win, bye, loss.
A highlight of Newbridge’s season was a 51-48 victory against Maiden Gully YCW at Marist College Bendigo in the sixth round.
The Maroons are the only team to have beaten the Eagles this season.
Schedule for Saturday’s qualifying finals at Bridgewater:
15-and-under, 10.30am: Bridgewater v Inglewood.
17-and-under, 12pm: Bears Lagoon-Serpentine v Bridgewater.
B-grade, 1.30pm: Maiden Gully YCW v Pyramid Hill.
A-grade, 3pm: Mitiamo v Marong.
13-and-under, 12pm: Maiden Gully YCW v Bridgewater.
C-reserve, 1.30pm: Maiden Gully YCW v Bears-Lagoon-Serpentine.
C-grade, 3pm: Marong v Pyramid Hill.
Schedule for Sunday’s elimination finals at Beck Legal Riverside Oval in Newbridge:
15-and-under, 10.30am: Bears Lagoon-Serpentine v Maiden Gully YCW.
17-and-under, 12pm: Calivil United v Maiden Gully YCW.
B-grade, 1.30pm: Bridgewater v Newbridge.
A-grade, 3pm: Pyramid Hill v Newbridge.
13-and-under, 12pm: Inglewood v Pyramid Hill.
C-reserve, 1.30pm: Newbridge v Bridgewater.
C-grade, 3pm: Bridgewater v Newbridge.
Teams through to the second semi-finals on August 26 are Maiden Gully YCW, A-grade, C-grade; Marong, B-grade, C-reserve, 17-and-under; and Calivil United, 15-and-under, 13-and-under.