Sport

Rivals set grand final date in Murray Netball League

By Tyler Maher

Moama left nothing to chance in yesterday's Murray Netball League preliminary final at Barooga Recreation Reserve.

The Magpies earned the right to defend their crown once more with a 29-goal triumph against Deniliquin, giving Charlotte Long and Alex Daly's troops a shot at a three-peat of premierships on Saturday against rival Echuca United.

After being three and nine goals up respectively at the first two breaks, Moama broke the game open in the third term to take a 20-goal advantage into the final stanza.

"Obviously we're really happy, but we definitely know it's not over yet, we've got a big week of preparation ahead of us and we'll be keeping our cool and keeping a lid on it until next week," Long said.

"We always have a tough first half and we're always pushed.

"But we know during the year we've seen it that you can't stop at any stage of the game, you just have to keep going because we could be ahead and still lose so that's what we've learnt, to keep fighting.

"I can't  really give a best on, I think everyone did their job everywhere so I can't pick it today.

"We're all excited, (with) no injuries which is great, so bring it on."

FINAL SCORES

Moama 56 d Deniliquin 27

Echuca pip Rumbalara

Another storied chapter of the recent rivalry between Echuca United and Rumbalara was inked on Saturday at Katandra Recreation Reserve.

The Eagles and Rumba always produce fierce contests and this clash was no different.

Lisa Drysdale's Eagles made the early running to be three goals ahead at the first break before Jess Bamblett's Rumba troops lifted and edged a goal ahead at half-time.

The third term also belonged to Rumba as they went about building a five-goal advantage, only for the Eagles to rise from the canvas and snare success by the narrowest of margins.

"We kept fighting all day," Drysdale told the Riverine Herald.

"To peg Rumba back in the last few minutes took absolutely every bit of energy we had left."

The loss eliminated minor premier Rumbalara at the penultimate hurdle with just two one-goal defeats - both at the hands of Echuca United - blemishing the side's record this campaign.

The Eagles will take to Finley Recreation Reserve in Saturday's decider, with Drysdale excited for what lies ahead.

"Some people will say to keep it as normal as possible, but I want everyone to embrace it," she said.

"Grand finals don't come around often, so we should be cherishing what we have in front of us.

"A few of us have played in grand finals before, so we’ll be trying to pass on all of the experience to the girls who are playing in their first."

FINAL SCORES

Echuca United 54 d Rumbalara 53