FINALS positions were on the line in the last round of the Eastern Region State League Netball open division, as teams jostled for position in the lead up to playoffs.
An upset was on the cards as development side Mid Gippsland White stepped out with intent against a more polished Mid Gippsland Green.
Starting with state player Ramayer Gourley at goal shooter, Green was sluggish and unable to penetrate White’s tight defence as they made every effort to feed the ball to their star scorer.
Gourley was impressive when the ball did reach her, shooting 100 per cent in the first quarter, but the younger White was well and truly in front on the scoreboard 18-9, and maintained a nine goal lead at the half.
Green coach Luana Brock boldly shifted Gourley to goal keeper for the remainder of the match in an effort to stymie the impact of White’s tall shooter Amy Hoghton. Green piled on 19 goals in the third quarter to take the lead and set the scene for a tense final quarter, before emerging victorious 53-47.
Missing some key players Morwell Indoor did its best in a physical encounter against the undefeated Alberton, but went down 60-25.
A replay of last year’s grand final in the 17 and under division saw Sale give premier Alberton a scare in a bid to make it two wins in a row. Full of confidence after last week’s win against Mid Gippsland, Sale had Alberton on the ropes, but the champion side held on to win 36-34. Alberton must now regroup to play North Gippsland in the final round.
Mid Gippsland had no response to North Gippsland’s fleet feet as they applied their mid court press with intensity and discipline. A final score of 52-22 means North will go into next week’s match against the undefeated Alberton with serious momentum.
Gippsland continued on its winning way, easily accounting for East Gippsland 54-16.
Gippsland plays the winless Mid Gippsland in the final round.
All open teams have the week off in the lead up to finals on Friday, 14 March and all 17 and under games for this week’s games will be played from 7.15pm at Latrobe Leisure Churchill.