GISBORNE and Eaglehawk have the chance to announce themselves as the main challenger to Sandhurst’s A-grade netball dominance when they meet in Sunday’s qualifying final.
The Bulldogs and Hawks have been the two sides to take it up to Sandhurst this season, the Hawks beaten by a total of seven goals in two games while Gisborne proved too good for the Dragons in round 14.
That was Sandhurst’s lone loss for the season, their only other blemish coming in a draw with Kangaroo Flat.
Eaglehawk and Gisborne clash on Sunday, having shared the honours from their two matches this season.
The Hawks emerged victorious on home turf in round three before Gisborne returned the favour, belting the Borough by 20 goals in the return leg. Both sides are coming off a final round win, Eaglehawk beating Maryborough while Gisborne was too good for South Bendigo by 18 goals.
In Saturday’s elimination final face Golden Square, which snuck into finals despite having the round 18 bye and winning just four games all season.
Flat finished 18 premiership points, or four and a half wins, clear of Golden Square and also fared well against the Dragons through the season. Despite that, the Roos were two and a half games outside a position in the top three.
Square’s low-scoring, defensive game has seen it fare well against the top sides but the young Bulldogs have been unable to break through for a victory against the competition’s big guns.
Square also dropped matches to last-placed Strathfieldsaye and seventh-placed South Bendigo in the run into finals.
Last time the local rivals met Kangaroo Flat narrowly prevailed 43-38 in round 15.
The winner plays the loser of Sunday’s qualifying final, while the winner of Sunday’s match plays Sandhurst in week two of the postseason.