KDL netball | Preliminary final preview

By Aydin Payne

For the third time in six weeks, Nagambie and Dookie United will battle it out in another Kyabram District League A-grade netball classic.

But this weekend's third encounter has everything on the line, as the two sides meet in a preliminary final.

A spot in the grand final against Stanhope is on offer to the winner of Saturday's clash at Dookie Recreation Reserve.

The Thunder will be hoping for another crack at Stanhope after they went down in the second semi-final by 37 goals.

"After last week's loss our confidence took a bit of a knock," Dookie coach Tanya Caruana said.

"This week we have been working on tightening our connections and working on our combinations.

"And we've focused on tidying up our unforced errors, because in a game like this (preliminary final) you can't afford to turn the ball over."

But despite last weekend's loss, Dookie United does have recent form over the Lakers.

The Thunder won in round 15 by seven goals and again in round 18 by five goals.

Caruana is expecting a tough game but knows her side should enter with plenty of confidence.

"Nagambie are quite a physical side and we know they will come out hard," she said.

"But we have got to go out strong and give it 100 per cent.

"We know we can get the win, we've got those recent wins under our belt and our side is very hungry for success."

The Lakers have won both of their finals matches and are certain to be brimming with confidence.

Attacking option Sharni Lloyd has been in great form, with the goal-attack best-on in the elimination final win over Murchison-Toolamba a fortnight ago.

Lloyd and fellow attacker, Bianca Willis, were influential in their side's semi-final win over Tallygaroopna, which earned them a spot in the preliminary final.

Their chemistry since Willis' return from injury has improved each game and it was on show in last week's win over Tally.

But Caruana has confidence in her defensive duo Laura Henderson and Georgia Caruana to get the job done on Nagambie's attacking pair.

"Our defence has been working really well lately," she said.

"We really need to be on our game and get the rebound.

"And at the other end, Maddison (Owen) has been in great form, but she will have a tough job tackling Nagambie's defence."