Horsham District league grand finals | A Grade netball head to head

ONE team has the league’s tallest shooter; the other has the competition’s most accomplished defender.

Add the fact Harrow-Balmoral and Natimuk United have only met once this season, and it makes picking a winner in Saturday’s grand final a tough ask.

Shannon Couch has been pivotal for the Ewes in attack, with teams often struggling to match her for rebounding power.

However Southern Roos coach and defensive dynamo Ebonie Salter is just as influential, and will cause numerous intercepts and headaches.

It’s any wonder the teams’ only encounter in round 10 was a see-sawing affair.

In that match, the Ewes were up by four at quarter-time, but the Southern Roos turned it around and were three goals up at the main break.

Natimuk United put together their highest-scoring quarter in the third to take a seven-goal buffer into the final break, and eventually prevailed by five goals.

Ewes coach Cheryl Sudholz said it was a high-intensity match.

“It was a really great game of netball,” she said.

“I think it came down to the last five minutes, and I don’t really know how we got to five goals up.”

Sudholz said there was little she would change about the game, and her team would aim to replicate its performance on Saturday.

“We will take it as it comes and our girls know how to adapt if need be,” she said.

“When you play Harrow-Balmoral you sort of have to learn as you go, because Ebonie is so good at changing things up.”

Salter said her team’s speed, especially in attack, was important this season.

“We also have a lot of confidence, and a good mix of youth and experience,” she said.

“We work well in pressure situations, and that’s something we’ve been trying to work on as a group.”

Harrow-Balmoral took the fast road to the grand final, upsetting minor premiers Laharum by two goals in a semi-final two weeks ago. 

Natimuk United defeated Laharum by 11 goals in last week’s preliminary final at Pimpinio to advance to the premiership decider.