Ram raid at start enough to advance

September 11, 2017

Deniliquin Ram Amelia Wyatt and Echuca United's Breanna Bookham clash in yesterday's semi-final.

Gracie Berryman's Echuca United team fell just two goals short of Deniliquin.

Deniliquin has earned the right to challenge for a grand final spot in the Murray Netball League.

The Rams had to hold off a fast-finishing Echuca United side to claim victory, with the Eagles slicing an eight-goal deficit at the final change down to just a two-goal defeat at the final whistle.

Deniliquin charged out of the blocks to lead by eight goals at the first break before the Eagles drew within six at the main change.

But Jodie Sefton’s charges simply had too much of a buffer heading into the last stanza, with the final score reading 45-43 their way.

Tongala faces the Rams in next week’s preliminary final, with the Blues winning the only clash of the teams in round 10 by 12 goals.

●Moama created history on Saturday by making the first A-grade netball grand final in the club’s history, but it has no intentions of stopping there.

‘‘We are stoked to be able to be a part of something really special,’’ playing coach Charlotte Long said.

‘‘Everyone in our team have all said that we’ve played in grand finals before, but this one feels so much more special, and the club and the players really deserve this chance.’’

The Magpies felt no pressure under the weight of expectation surrounding the side this season, completely dominating the second semi-final from start to finish to record the 47-29 victory against Tongala.

‘‘We had a really good lead-up over the break, we worked really hard and did everything right,’’ Long said.

‘‘I think everyone played their best game of the year as well, which was great.’’

The standout proved to be attacking star Georgia Groves — the youngest member of Moama’s squad — who rose above some tight defence from Tongala to lead her team to success.

‘‘Georgia controlled the game with her calmness and her shooting was great,’’ Long said.

Emily Atkinson enjoyed her return to the court and got through unscathed.

The Magpies will have another break before the big dance, but Long was not worried about her troops losing touch.

‘‘We had a bye and then we played and then we had the first week of finals off and played and now we have another bye,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s three times in a row now that we’ve done that, so it’s really our routine (rather than being out of the ordinary).’’

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