Sport

Avenel has finger on finals pulse

By Lauren Bordin

Avenel’s simple aim is to finish with a finals position in Kyabram District Netball League.

Coach Kelly Smith is aware the club started behind the eight-ball, but is rapt with the fact it now sits in fourth spot.

‘‘I think from last year bringing just three A-graders into this year and four B-graders coming up they’ve worked together very well and with their personalities they all get along,’’ she said.

‘‘At the start of the season it looked dire in regards to numbers, but we’ll keep going and try and make finals to achieve our aim.’’

The Swans have testing, yet winnable games to carry them into the post season, although Nagambie will be its last assignment of the regular season.

Smith said there was plenty of work to be done to catch the Lakers, as well as Tallygaroopna and Stanhope.

‘‘It’s quite even apart from the standouts of Nagambie, Tally and Stanhope, all the teams are really quite strong and competitive,’’ she said.

‘‘They are some tough, strong teams, so we’ll need to pull up our socks to achieve their level, all credit to them, they’re good sides.

‘‘Then to bring in teams like Dookie they’ve got their own strengths and we were a bit disappointed to lose that one (in round 11).’’

Avenel will aim for a big win against Rushworth to kick-start the lead into the finals, while the Tigers continue to dwell on the lower rungs of the ladder.

Murchison-Toolamba will be hopeful of jumping back into the top six after hosting Ardmona.

The Grasshoppers deserve a spot in the finals, but have struggled under the weight of the top sides in recent weeks.

After going down to Stanhope last week, Murchison should make amends.

It would take a mammoth effort from Girgarre to end Nagambie’s unbeaten run with the Lakers streaming towards their 13th straight win.

Tallygaroopna will remain second after hosting Undera despite Stanhope heading for a big win against Lancaster, while Dookie United is favourite against Longwood.