The last round of the regular season in the Northern Country Women’s League produced some surprising results leading into the finals.
In a local derby Shepparton and Mooroopna met and a tight struggle ensued.
Taking to the field at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve, it was the Cats who ground out a 13-point victory to end the Bears’ hopes of securing a second chance in the finals.
The loss sent Shepparton into third and the side will host Echuca on Sunday in a must-win semi-final.
At the weekend, both sides were all square at the first break before Mooroopna pulled away in the second term.
Kicking 1.3 to the Bears’ one goal, the Cats stifled Shepparton’s scoring in the second half.
Holding its opposition goalless, Mooroopna upset its higher ranked opposition with Tahlitha Samkakai kicking two goals.
Molly Tancred, Ilmie Cuthbert and Allie Johns were superb for the Cats, while Emma Keady toiled hard for the Bears.
Despite the win, Mooroopna’s season has come to an end, finishing with four wins in its first season fielding a women’s side.
Benalla jumped up to second position to earn a second chance during the finals, set to face competition heavyweight Bendigo Thunder on Sunday.
The Saints were keen to secure the prized spot and demolished Echuca in the final round of the season.
Natalie Pritchard had a day out in the forward line, kicking five goals for the day.
Pritchard was not just accurate around goals, but was a lively contributor across the day, as she earned best-on-field honours for her side.
Gorgia Spinks and Nina Gardiner were also valuable players for the Saints as Sophie Douglas kicked the Murray Bombers’ only goal for the match.
Kyneton and North Bendigo contested a low-scoring affair with the Tigers ending the season on a high with a win, but neither team will go on to play finals.
Bendigo Thunder continued its dominant season, too strong for Kerang and heading into the semi-finals as strong favourite to take out the competition.