Finals Fever has certainly not disappointed thus far. The atmosphere amongst the Netball crowds has been awesome and great to be a part of. Close and exciting contests and that carnival atmosphere on and off the court is a reminder of what we have missed for the last couple of years. There is still a lot more action to look forward to and with 2 weeks to go, there are still 7 clubs playing finals.
This week’s Predictions
In the main game at 1.20, Cobden come up against Koroit and I expect this match will be another skilful and goal for goal contest. The trio of “M’s (McCann, McNamara and Moroney) have been a critical part of the Bombers lineup in recent weeks and at the other end of the court the combination of Emily Finch and Molly Hutt have been dominating in attack. Koroit will have a feast of players to choose from but I anticipate we’ll see a similar lineup to last week when they accounted for the Eagles in the 1st Semi Final. Both teams boast a wealth of experience mixed with some very talented youth. With unfavourable weather conditions forecasted I predict a slow and steady game. I think this will favour Koroit’s game plan a bit more but Cobden will be hungry for another shot at the Premiership after narrowly missing out in their last two attempts. Cobden will get the win here.
In Other Games
13/U – South Warrnambool easily accounted for the Eagles in the Qualifying Final and I think they will be too strong for the Eagles, again.
15/U – South Warrnambool Verse Cobden in the 15/U and the Roosters should win through to the GF.
17/U – Cobden play Camperdown in the 17/U and if the Qualifying final is anything to go by, this game will go down to the wire. Very hard to pick but maybe Cobden just.
17/UR – Another Cobden V Camperdown battle. I think the Bombers can win this one.
Div 3 – South Warrnambool take on Koroit but I think the Roosters will be too strong in this contest and earn the right to play next week.
Div 2 – Koroit will play Cobden in this game. Cobden have found a bit of momentum in the last couple of weeks coming from fourth. They could cause a bit of an upset here.
Div 1 – Hamilton Kangaroos will do battle with Port Fairy in a tight physical contest. Port Fairy narrowly got over the line last week and I think they can do it again this week.
The Inaugural Dot Jenkins Medal – Open Best and Fairest
This Sunday, the inaugural Dot Jenkins Medal will be awarded to the Open Best and Fairest winner. It was an easy decision to name this award in Dot’s honour as she has done so much for netball for the Hampden FNL and also at Club level over many many years. So who will be the inaugural winner of this special award.
If the award was to be won by a defender, Remeny McCann from Cobden would be near the top of the list with her outstanding performances later in the season. Lily Eldridge from Camperdown and Carly Watson are likely to poll a few votes with their efforts this year.
Players through the centre court who have played well consistently throughout the season – the most outstanding would have to be Maddison Vardy from North Warrnambool Eagles. From some of the other teams, Meg Kelson from South Warrnambool, Alicia Blain from Cobden and Millie Jennings from Koroit have also had good seasons.
Up the attacking end, I believe Annie Blackburn from South Warrnambool, Skye Billings from North Warrnambool Eagles and Amy Wormald from Warrnambool have all had a few match winning performances. Other’s you could throw in the mix are Molly Hutt from Cobden, Nell Mitchell from Koroit and Hollie Phillips from South Warrnambool
If you’re willing to put your money on a dark horse, some players you could consider would include Emma Somerville from the Hamilton Kangaroos, Heidi Jones from the Portland Tigers, and Ava Pearce from the Warrnambool Blues.
If the vote count is anything like the season we have had it will be a close and exciting count and possibly not decided until the last vote card is read.
Good Luck to all teams participating in the Preliminary Final Round this week. Let’s hope there is plenty of exciting action across both the Netball and Football.