MNL | Finley hosts Nathalia in do-or-die clash
With three games remaining in the A-grade Murray Netball League season, it all comes down to this for Savannah Wilson and her Finley squad.
After starting the season a disappointing 2-8, the Cats have climbed back into finals contention with an excellent two-month period that has yielded four wins from their past five games.
Now sitting just one win behind Mulwala in that much-coveted sixth spot, Finley must continue its winning ways and claim a top-four scalp to keep its dream of finals netball alive.
And this weekend presents the perfect opportunity for the Cats to stamp themselves as a post-season threat, as they welcome third-placed Nathalia to town.
Wilson said she could not wait to get on court this weekend.
“This weekend is going to be an extremely tough match,” she said.
“Obviously with us sitting outside the finals at the moment, we need to win all three of our games to be a chance, making this game super important for us.
“The girls will 100 per cent embrace the challenge though, and cannot wait to get out there.”
Having dropped just two games this season, the Purples will bring a completely new level of competition to the Cats, who are yet to defeat a top-five team this season.
Wilson understands the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead, with her team needing to be at its absolute best to be in with a shot.
“Last game against Nathalia we got absolutely flogged (losing 56-17 in round four), but we had a few out that day and this time we’ll have a full team, which is really exciting,” she said.
“To pull this one off we are going to have to remain competitive, we can’t drop at all or they will make us pay.
“The start will also be very important, we’re going to have to come with a real intensity and build an early lead — it will definitely be a bit of a mental game as well, so keeping our head and not getting overawed will be vital.”
The Cats will be at their best personnel-wise, with the experienced Macie Close set to give the side a major boost.
Around the courts, Mulwala will be hoping to maintain its stranglehold on sixth spot as it makes the trip west to Echuca United to face the Eagles.
Numurkah and Cobram, meanwhile, do battle in the final match of round 16 in what is a great opportunity for both teams to secure valuable points.