Sport

Pedretti knows to beware the Bear

by
August 24, 2017

Shepparton East co-coach Grace Pedretti will not allow her team to underestimate Tungamah when they face-off in Saturday's elimination final.

Tungamah has not defeated Shepparton East yet this year.

Heading into an elimination final against the Eagles, the Bears have lost by a combined margin of 34 goals in three games.

But the statistics will not dent the confidence of Tungamah players.

Just last week Felicity Irvine’s team rallied to defeat Waaia, the only Picola District Netball League south-east side to achieve that this season.

The five-goal win earned Tungamah a spot in the finals and Shepparton East co-coach Grace Pedretti is not taking Sunday’s opposition lightly.

‘‘You never know, there are so many factors that go on around finals and we don’t want to go in too confident,’’ she said.

‘‘Finals are a whole new ball game and you can’t go in thinking because you’ve beaten them three times you’ll do it again; finals can cause teams to rise and others to crumble.’’

The Bears have a strong shooting pairing of Chelsea Marks and Adele Prescott, but Pedretti believed her side had the fitness to combat them.

‘‘We’ve got a lot of fresh legs, all nine players came onto the court last week and that ability to have all nine players and start with anyone gives us fresh speed,’’ she said.

Pedretti will have a full side available for the elimination final in Waaia, with Deanne Murdoch and Kara Pattison crucial bookends in helping the team progress.

Last year the Eagles won three games to reach a grand final from fourth position.

Another testing match will await Sunday’s winner, who will be fixtured to play the loser of Saturday’s qualifying final between Katunga and Dookie United in the first semi-final.

While United may start underdogs against the Swans, it is more than capable of taking out the game.

Laura Henderson, Kayla Woodhouse and Georgia Caruana have produced solid seasons, although the Swans will be desperate to make the decider after last year’s preliminary final exit.

The qualifying final winner will earn the daunting task of facing Waaia, with the Bombers recuperating during a week off having topped the table.

●In the north-west division, either Blighty or Strathmerton will have their season ended after Sunday’s first semi-final at Tocumwal.

The Redeyes have been more consistent for the season, only losing four times although one of those was to the Bulldogs.

But given how close they have come to ladder leader Tocumwal, Blighty should progress deeper into the finals.

The Bloods return from their week off to meet the Deniliquin Rovers for a spot in the big dance at Deniliquin on Saturday.

Given the pair are no strangers to playing off in the finals, they will each know what to expect.

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