Grammar in a nailbiting finals win
Grammar 1 have reached the preliminary final in the Albany Netball Association A1 competition for the first time after prevailing by a single goal in a thrilling first semifinal over Kangas 1 last Saturday.
Kangas trailed by two goals at three-quarter-time but were able to hit back in the final term through young shooter Sascha Roberts, as they did their best to draw level.
At the other end though, Grammar young gun Kasey Warren was matching Roberts’ efforts as Warren hit her last five shots of the game to ensure her side kept their noses in front.
Kangas reduced the margin to one goal with less than 15 seconds left and had the centre pass, with the ball eventually ending up in Roberts’ hand with a chance to level the scores with a shot on the final buzzer.
But her shot missed, leaving Grammar to hang on in a nail-biter, 44-43, and progress to Saturday’s preliminary final for the first time since competing in A1.
The win was set up by a 14-goal first term from Grammar as Warren netted 10 goals from 11 attempts to get her side off to a flier.
Kangas reduced the margin in the second quarter on the back of some accurate shooting from Roberts as they outscored their opponents 12 goals to 10, reducing the margin to one by half-time.
The teams went goal for goal in an even third term but Grammar were able to hold their nerve in a tense final stanza as they eliminated Kangas in the process. Warren was a standout, shooting 28 goals from 37 attempts.
She received good support from fellow forward Abbey Cristinelli (16 goals from 23 attempts).
Felicity Barrett was instrumental in Grammar’s victory, along with defender Nina Smith.
Centre Kate Minter provided constant supply throughout and was well supported by Kirsty Smith and Maddy Hines, while Roberts was terrific up forward to finish with 23 goals from 28 attempts to almost get her team over the line.
Magpies 1 will face Grammar in Saturday’s preliminary final after they were defeated by reigning premiers Royals Saints 1 in last Saturday’s second semifinal.
Royals Saints moved a step closer to consecutive premierships after a 52-40 win over Magpies and will now enjoy a week off to see who they play in the decider.
This Saturday night, the ANA will hold its A1 awards night, with the winner of the prestigious Michelle Parsons Memorial Award, for the fairest and best player in the competition, to be announced.
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