A repeat of last year’s torrid final is set to take place when Ex High Red lines up against Blue Mountain College A in the MLT premier one netball final on Saturday.
Both teams produced strong performances throughout the season and this weekend’s clash should be no different.
Ex High stormed into the final by beating Menzies College A 47-13 in the semifinals last weekend.
Coach Colleen Bond said Ex High would be preparing for a battle against Blue Mountain.
“We need to prepare well. We’re not taking this game lightly – we’re not treating it any differently to any other game,” she said.
Ex High had produced some great passages of play but was always striving to get better, Bond said.
“We always want to improve and are always working to get better.
“Nothing ever goes perfectly in a game of netball; we still have dropped balls and the odd errors that we want to tidy up on.”
Ex High had relied on players from its second-tier team, Ex High Black, this season.
Bond accommodated the new players by relocating original players into dominant positions, such as shifting goal defence Ashleigh Smith into centre in the semifinal.
“Ash is naturally a shooter so she was there to support them with her feeds. I’m not afraid to move people like that, either; if we need height down in the shooting end, then Ash is the girl for that too,” she said.
Bond praised Ex High’s opponent, Blue Mountain College, and said “you can never take school teams lightly”.
“Blue Mountain will put some really great play out on court this weekend. They’re very talented.”
Blue Mountain coach Vicky Weller was aware the final would be a big battle against Ex High.
“We know it’s a big game. They have a lot of experience and they work really well together.”
The key for Blue Mountain would be to treasure the ball, stay calm and play its own game, Weller said.
The team had struggled with the flu for the past few weeks but managed to hold off St Mary’s Green to win its semifinal 36-33.
“I was really proud of them that game. They held out and had a really strong first half, which cemented them well.”
The team was “stoked” to make the final for the second year in a row.
“We lost last year to them but I thought we played really, really well in that hit-out, so hopefully we can produce more of the same.”
Ex High Red will play Blue Mountain College A in the MLT premier one final at the MLT Event Centre at 1.30pm on Saturday.