Close encounters

WITH no open division games played in round six of the Eastern Regional State League Netball competition it was up to the 17 and under division to provide the entertainment for a small but enthusiastic crowd at Latrobe Leisure Churchill.

No more than four goals separated any game in a tense precursor to finals.

Mid Gippsland kicked off with a display of netball previously unseen by it against East Gippsland.

Keen to even up the score from their first round loss to East, Mid Gippsland took control early.

Piper Bennett-Swinley made a return to the Mid Gippsland team to shore up the mid court, an area that had been lacking all season. 

East’s goal attack Sally Deller shot a perfect first quarter but Mid was relentless with both shooters contributing evenly. 

Mid achieved payback by the final whistle, winning out 32-28.

Alberton had a tough ask to keep its undefeated record intact against the might of Gippsland.

In a possible prelude to the grand final Gippsland struggled to find its goalers as Lauren Redpath played the role of general in the back line.

Lauren continued to work hard off the ball applying pressure to Gippsland’s attacking game plan, leading to a 46-43 Alberton victory.

Sale continued to take it up to the top teams and North Gippsland struggled to overcome the less accomplished opposition. 

Stand in coach Kerry O’Bryan seemed lost for answers as the favourite never looked like breaking away. 

Sale all but claimed a significant scalp but failed to get over the line, losing 29-28. 

Friday will see the final round of the 17 and under division played with the exception of the Sale versus East Gippsland match that will be played at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex on Sunday at midday. 

The day will also see Sale 1 play East Gippsland in the grand final of the newly created 15 and under Regional State League competition.

The open division will commence the finals this week, Mid Gippsland Green should be too strong for Mid Gippsland White, however White will not go down without a fight.

Morwell Indoor will keep North Gippsland winless. 

Alberton will have the bye after finishing on top of the ladder undefeated.

Games will commence at 7.15pm at Latrobe Leisure Churchill.