Resilient Railways hold on in nailbiter over Royals Saints to claim grand final berth in ANA A1 competiton
Railways 1 progressed straight through to the Albany Netball Association grand final after a nailbiting two-goal victory over Royals Saints 1 in their second semifinal clash on Saturday.
After holding a five-goal advantage at three-quarter-time, Railways came out and extended that margin to eight, netting the first three scores of the last term.
However, Royals Saints responded by scoring the next seven goals to reduce the deficit back to one goal before Railways netted two of the next three goals to stay ahead.
The reigning premiers rallied again, scoring the next three goals to take the lead for the first time since the opening minutes before Railways levelled the scores.
Royals Saints would find the front again but Railways dug deep in the final minutes to cause several turnovers and net the final three goals of the game as Jess Rintoul levelled scores before Mikaila Kowald netted the final two goals to secure a thrilling 39-37 victory.
Kowald finished with 28 goals from 34 attempts in the win while defenders Kiera Stephen and Hollee Siviour were excellent in defence and Courtney Henderson worked tirelessly.
Royals Saints netted four of the first five goals of the match before Railways settled and led by five goals at the first break thanks to Kowald who scored eight goals from eight attempts.
Carly Szczecinski netted six of her seven attempts on goal in the second term but Railways still held a five-goal advantage at half time.
Railways pushed the lead out to double figures midway through the third term but their opponents willed their way back into the contest through Nardia Humphries who scored eight of her team’s nine goals.
Railways held on and advanced to their first grand final in just their second year in the competition.
Kathryn Jennings was impressive in defeat for Royals Saints along with Narelle Humphries in defence, while Taylah Orzel was also a solid contributor.
Royals Saints must beat Narrikup 1 in the preliminary final on tonight to earn another shot at Railways in the decider.
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