It's Grand Final Week, and we make some predictions...
Grand Final: Dingley v Heatherton - 1.00pm
Last time they met: Dingley 37 def Heatherton 27
This is it; the much-hyped Grand Final rematch. These two sides have long been destined to meet again in the big dance, although both have traveled very different roads to get there.
On the one hand, Dingley has taken all before them once again, and has not dropped a game all year. 2012 joint League Best and Fairest winner Shae Wonnacott has again lead the charge for the Dingoes, dominating oppositions. But Wonnacott has been ably supported by the likes of captain Alicia Wise, youngsters Chelsea Goldin and Miranda Bailey, and defender Martyna Cooper. Sara Merkus has also had an outstanding season, as has Sophie Bartlett, as well as the ever-versatile Shannon Bailey. Indeed, the Dingoes' depth runs deep, as is usually the case with teams that haven't once faltered throughout a season.
That said, Dingley faces their nemesis in the Grand Final, and will be eerily aware that the situation was similar this time last year, when Heatherton found a way to break Dingley and inflicted the Dingoes' first loss on Grand Final Day. On that day it was Molly Kibel who starred for Heatherton, taking out best-on-court honours, and again this season Molly has been the general for Heatherton, building on her great season last year and providing the consistency of performance and stability that Heatherton has required. 2012 joint League Best and Fairest winner Jaime Regnier has battled injury, but she is the Luke Hodge of this side - all class and rises when needed. Teena Mifsud, Nicki Arnold, the pint-sized Melissa Cook and Yvonne McMillan have all been significant contributors to the Heatherton cause this season, whilst Belinda Kay and Ellie Davidson have proven the difference on more than one occasion.
This is the match-up we've wanted, but have been twice denied this season; once due to horrible weather, and once due to Heatherton having a shortage of players thanks to injury and ill-planned holidays! If we get anything like we got last year, where only 2 goals separated these two teams all day, we are in for an absolute belter! Whilst Heatherton knows what it takes, Dingley will still be burning from last year's Grand Final defeat, and you can't bet against the champs when surely they're due!
Dingley by 1 goal.
Grand Final: Dingley v Carrum Patterson Lakes - 11.50am
Last time they met: Dingley 34 def Carrum Patterson Lakes 32
Again, this is the Grand Final that had to happen. They were the best two sides in April, and they're the best two sides in August.
Dingley shows its depth by featuring in both the Division 1 and Division 2 grand finals, and their talent is obvious. Captain Alysha Morecroft is the general in defence, and is a key reason why opposition teams struggle to score against the Dingoes. Sarah Fischer too has had an outstanding year for the Dingoes and will look to continue that form on Saturday, whilst sisters Sarah and Emma Gent have been a blonde pairing feared by opposition.
For Carrum Patterson Lakes, they've made it to the big dance in their first season. After originally flirting with a place in Division 1, CPL more than found its groove in Division 2, and on their day have been every bit as good as Dingley. Lead by the experienced Mandi Hall and ably supported by the likes of Sophie McGuiness (with cat-like reflexes), Tessa 'Goes all day' McKay, and Jessie Hawksworth just to name a few, CPL announced their arrival to the competition very early on with dominant performances, and have not looked back.
This should be a game for the ages. CPL is capable of getting the job done if they can handle the nerves, and we know they'll be well supported. On the other hand, Dingley finished atop the ladder for a reason; they're fast, fit and well-polished. This is a genuine toss-of-the-coin final.
Dingley by 2 goals.
Grand Final: Bentleigh v Lyndale - 11.50am
Last time they met: Bentleigh 31 def Lyndale 22
Finishing second and third respectively, these two teams have both had terrific finals series' to make it to the Grand Final. Both toppled ladder-leaders Hidden Grove with similar score lines, and both will go into this game knowing they're a genuine chance to hold the cup aloft come Saturday afternoon.
Bentleigh have been solid all season, building on the experience gained last year. In the absence of injured captain Hannah Shirley, leadership will have to come from Elizabeth Balfour, who is the key link in the middle of the court, as well as the likes of defender and coach Kelly Hynes, Tegan Matheson, the deceivingly tall Cate Lanham, and youthful goal scorer Lauren Farrell. Bentleigh have also received great service from Taylar Anderson, Em Reuter, and Emily Gerah among others.
Lyndale on the other hand have snuck under the radar to some extent. Nikki Hamilton has starred this year as captain, but consistent defenders Jaimi Paton and Stacey Davidson, as well as Rhiannon Dempster, sharp-shooting Elizabeth Hogan, Lauren Morgan, Belinda Schembri and Ellie Davidson have all formed a team that has just gotten better and better each week.
One can't help but admire what Lyndale has done in its first year. But I also wonder whether they played their Grand Final last week to topple Hidden Grove and make it to this day. Bentleigh on the other hand have had more time to prepare themselves for this, and though I think it will again be close, I think the red and blue will shine through.
Bentleigh by 3 goals.
Get down to the SDNA courts this Saturday for all the SFL YMCA Monash Netball Grand Final action!
Address: Springvale & District Netball Association
Dingley Village (off Westall Ext)
Melways 88 H6
2013 SFL YMCA Monash Netball Finals Series
- All players in finals matches must have played at least 4 games throughout the season to be eligible to participate in that division’s final series.
- Once a player has played the required number of games in a division they are eligible for finals in any other higher division for that club.
- Teams found to be playing an ineligible player during finals will be considered to have lost that match.
- Drawn finals matches will result in a 2 minute time allowance to change ends and verify the score, position changes and substitutions may be made during the change over time.
- An additional 5 minutes each end will be played with players changing ends at the end of each half.
- Should there be a draw at the end of the second half of extra time, play will continue until one team has a clear two goal lead.
- 5 players registered on the original team entry form must take the court in all finals games.
For further information or clarification on Finals eligibility contact firstname.lastname@example.org