Rushworth was right on top from the first whistle to defeat Tallygaroopna and book a grand final berth.By Hannah Driscoll
Rushworth dominated its second semi-final appearance against Tallygaroopna to book the first spot in Kyabram District Netball League’s grand final.
The Tigers locked up Saturday’s match at Avenel after blistering second and third quarters.
At quarter-time the minor premier led by four goals, but that was nine by half-time and 15 at three-quarter time.
At one stage in the third quarter the Tigers shot eight goals in a row, but goal attack and co-coach Sharni Lloyd, her side leading by 14 goals, could still be seen relentlessly chasing down the Redlegs’ passes in the midcourt.
‘‘We couldn’t have asked them to put in more than what they did today,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘They gave 110 per cent and I think it really showed on the court.
‘‘They jelled together well and we really capitalised on our turnovers from the defence end right through the court.’’
Plenty of those intercepts were generated by goal defence Alana Cruz, who was named most valuable player for the final, while working alongside co-coach Kymberleigh Rowland in goal keeper.
‘‘Both her and Kymberleigh are both so solid in our defence end and coupled with Amanda Gledhill in wing defence, that defence line-up is really strong and crucial to our team when those girls are firing,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘That’s the best I’ve seen them combine and play well all this year, so perfect timing.’’
Tallygaroopna playing coach Georgie Sidebottom, who started the game in centre, came off late in the second quarter before returning in wing attack for the final term, said it took until the final quarter for the Redlegs to play good netball.
It was the second time the teams met this season and Sidebottom believed Tallygaroopna could match the Tigers playing their best netball.
‘‘That’s a hard thing once they get their confidence up and get a run on you can’t lie down and let them get those few goals in a row,’’ Sidebottom said.
‘‘You’ve got to stop that run and make sure you’re converting down your end as well.
‘‘Our defence end stood up really well, but I don’t think it was one of our best attacking games we’ve played this season.’’
Lloyd said Rushworth would continue to train as usual and would look to have a hit-out next weekend to keep fit and ready for the grand final.
Tallygaroopna will play Stanhope in the preliminary final after the Lions’ 45-30 semi-final win against Lancaster at Stanhope.
Stanhope playing coach Kerrie Gray was named most valuable player of the match.
Lancaster’s Jo McCready works around Stanhope’s Molly Breen and Suzie Cockroft.
Stanhope’s Molly Breen provided a link from defence to goals.
Kylie Williams blocks out the sun as she aims for the goal ring.
Tamara Lane came back on into centre in the second quarter.
Stanhope playing coach Kerrie Gray was named MVP.
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