Sport

GVL netball | Echuca out to continue winning ways over United

By Aydin Payne

History repeats tomorrow when Echuca and Shepparton United take to Deakin Reserve for their preliminary final clash, following last year's do-or-die match between the two sides.

The reigning premier saluted in that match by four goals and will head in looking for its sixth win in a row against the Demons.

Echuca coach Gina Pearson expects her side to bounce back strongly from the pain of last weekend's agonisingly close one-goal loss to Seymour.

The Murray Bombers had one foot in the door of a grand final spot, but slipped in the final term of the second semi-final to go down 47-46.

However, saved by the luxury of the double chance, Echuca now gears up for tomorrow's preliminary final contest against Shepparton United.

"We were disappointed to let slip of last weekend's match," Pearson said.

"For majority of the game we were in front, so we will take plenty of confidence from that.

"We know we can compete against the best and we know this week is going to be just as hard.

"But I know our girls are really looking forward to this weekend and putting in a good performance."

Tomorrow's epic encounter is set to be the third time — and second in three weeks — the pair has played off this season.

Echuca has won both games so far, but Pearson was quick to downplay past performances.

"You can take some confidence into the weekend, but both wins were very close," she said.

"In both games we probably let them back in after controlling it late, we just need to make sure we keep the foot down."

Leading the way for Echuca is its superb attacking combination of Claudia Mawson and Casey Frame, with them being constant performers this season.

Frame's experience has been paying off and has contributed to Echuca's high shooting percentage, with Pearson highlighting her side averages between 75-80 per cent on game day.

United's attacking option Jessie Barnes is set to feature this weekend and will be a welcome addition to her side's attack.

But with the pressure of a do-or-die final set to creep in, both sides' attacking players will play a pivotal role in the contest.

"There will be plenty of pressure on both sides' goalers this weekend and Deakin Reserve is always a bit of a wind tunnel," Pearson said.

"But Casey and Claudia have been in some great form for us, you can't ask for more of them.

"They are a great combination for us and are a real bonus to the side."

Key points

At a glance - Echuca v Shepparton United