Sport

East easily pleased with ladder position

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August 03, 2017

Shepparton East coach Grace Pedretti is confident her side will perform strongly in the finals series, no matter what place it starts in the top five.

Shepparton East has no preferences as to where it ideally wants to finish on the Picola District Netball League south-east ladder.

Securing a second chance is achievable for the third-placed Eagles, but Dookie United is hot on the heels of Grace Pedretti’s side.

Unable to drop out of the finals series, Pedretti has belief her side can do damage from any position on the ladder.

‘‘We don’t have an ideal spot, we made the grand final from fifth spot last year, that proved that we can go through without the the second chance as long as we finish in the top five,’’ she said.

But it remains to be seen whether a grand final rematch will come in the finals as Katandra fights for a spot in the top five.

The Eagles have lost their past two games against Waaia and Dookie, but given the margin the Bombers and Katunga have on the rest of the competition, those results have not damaged their final position.

Pedretti said she was even willing to let a few more games slip in the next three rounds as long as improvements were being made.

‘‘We want to consolidate our team work, I don’t mind if we don’t win as long as we’re working well together as a team,’’ she said.

‘‘Finals are a different ball game with different umpires, which makes a world of difference, so I’m not too worried about the past losses.’’

Tungamah performs in big games and will be hoping to claim a win against the Eagles on Saturday, having lost in their two previous encounters this season.

Heavily motivated after last round’s win against Katandra that put the Bears back into the five, coach Felicity Irvine was determined not to fall a game behind finals contention.

Her task will be made easier with star Shepparton East shooter Amy Henderson to miss with a minor ankle injury, as will Amy Boyd, who has earned a permanent spot in the A-grade side.

Waaia and Katunga face off in a potential grand final precursor, as the Swans aim to be the first side to knock off the Bombers this season.

Dookie United and Rennie shape up for a crucial match for both sides, with third spot on the line for Dookie and a place in the finals still up for grabs for the young Grasshoppers.

Katamatite has an opportunity to gain its first win since round five going up against an understrength Katandra.

●In north-west games, Tocumwal and Deni Rovers square off in a fierce battle of the two best sides in the competition.

Berrigan plays off in a crucial match against Strathmerton to keep its finals hopes alive and Jerilderie hosts Mathoura.

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