Horsham District league grand finals | A Grade netball preview

AN ENTHRALLING match awaits when netball powerhouses Harrow-Balmoral and Natimuk United battle for the league’s ultimate prize on Saturday.

For the Southern Roos, a second consecutive premiership looms if they can win at Horsham City Oval.

For the Ewes, a grand final victory would mean their second premiership in three seasons.

Southern Roos coach Ebonie Salter said her team felt ready for the challenge ahead.

Saturday’s match caps off a big week for Salter, who was named runner-up in the league’s A Grade best and fairest award on Monday night.

“It’s been a big build-up, and we want to be as prepared as we can,” she said.

“It's an exciting time and we're obviously really happy to be playing in the grand final.”

Salter said it had been a tough week for the club with the death of former senior football coach and player Brent Forsyth on Monday.

“It was sad and sombre start to the week, but we are trying to move forward and focus on Saturday's game,” she said.

Salter expects her team to have its work cut out against the Ewes.

“Natimuk are always so composed and very experienced, and they've been in really good form lately,” she said. “They play their game and we want to be able to play ours.

“I think whoever can do that for the longest part of the 60 minutes will win.”

Salter said her team’s camaraderie and attitude were its greatest strengths.

“Everyone has the will to play well. If we come off the court knowing we've given it everything, we're happy,” she said.

Natimuk United coach Cheryl Sudholz said her charges were raring to go.

“We’re really excited to be playing in the grand final,” she said. “Our motto throughout the finals series has been one week at a time.

“It’s hard when there's a lot of spectators and you have people saying 'When you get to this week in finals...'.

“We don’t like to think ahead because you never know what will happen in finals, so we just take it a week at a time.”

Sudholz believes her team’s ability to handle pressure will play a role in the decider.

“When Kalkee had those years where they were unbeatable, I look back now and I can understand how they were able to not panic, because they had played in so many finals and had that experience,” she said. 

“We were younger then and panicked a bit, and made errors at crucial times.

“Now, a lot of us have played a lot of finals and we have that experience.”

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