Tongala has stopped Deniliquin Rams in their tracks and booked a Murray Netball League grand final date with Mulwala.By Damen Francis
Tongala’s meteoric Murray Netball League rise will continue into the final week of the season.
The Blues will meet Mulwala in the grand final, after sending Deniliquin Rams spiralling out of premiership contention in straight sets, with a 41-32 preliminary final win at Tocumwal Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
It comes just one year after Tongala won five games and finished 11th.
An 11-goal-to-six final term capped a dominant performance and first-year coach Dylan Nexhip said his players had confidence coursing through their veins.
‘‘They were very excited,’’ Nexhip said.
‘‘We won every quarter of the day and put the foot down in the last.
‘‘We’ve been building and building and there’s one week to go.’’
Key to the win was the performance of the upper midcourt.
Young wing attack Caddi Mulholland worked hard to create a host of scoring opportunities for the Blues’ goalers, while Abby Pettifer nullified the influence of star Rams goal defence Amelia Wyatt.
The Rams had a torrid time in attack against Mulwala the previous weekend and it did not get any easier against the Blues, who were aware of the troubles.
‘‘We did a lot of work on our defensive pressure in the goal third and they did struggle at times to get it in the ring, which was pleasing,’’ Nexhip said.
‘‘The girls really stepped it up a notch, which is what you need to do this time of year.’’
It was a nightmare end for the Rams, who finished the home-and-away season in second place, earning them the double chance.
Coach Vicki Carmichael and her players will wonder what might have been, given they failed to find their best form, which was good enough to match anyone during the regular season, in September.
The Blues finished fourth, with 12 wins from 17 games and have beaten Moama, Finley and now Deniliquin on their way to the grand final.
They made it through Saturday’s preliminary final unscathed and will head into the season decider against last year’s beaten grand finalists, the Lions, brimming with belief.
Shepparton’s diverse multicultural population will have access to a more comprehensive range of services thanks to a $150,000 grant to map the area’s multicultural communities and identify gaps in service provision.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
Tongala's Ben Scowen fell agonisingly short of his first century on the weekend, falling for 98 after handling the final ball of the innings.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Reigning Murray Valley Cricket Association premier Strathmerton was far too good for Finley on Saturday, registering a 115-run victory.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Christmas is a time of giving and UnitingCare Cobram has joined forces with Target to ensure no stocking is left empty this festive season.
The Deniliquin Pastoral & Agricultural Society has offered to run the sheepdog trials so it can be added to the local calendar of events again.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
Diane Young celebrated 30 years of service at Devenish Primary School.
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