Sport

Draw unlocks finals door

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August 28, 2017

Being a mathematical chance of making finals is something all clubs hold onto until even Pythagoras would judge it is no longer possible.

Being a mathematical chance of making finals is something all clubs hold onto until even Pythagoras would judge it is no longer possible.

Fortunately, Echuca kept the faith during its stay in seventh position knowing Euroa was in the box seat to hang onto the final spot in the six.

But as the Magpies lost to Seymour, the door was opened for the Murray Bombers.

And Casey Frame’s side managed to fit through the slight opening, after managing a draw against wooden spooner Mansfield.

It took a while for news to travel to the high country that Echuca’s season would continue, with Frame saying the mood changed dramatically after her side’s match against the Eagles.

‘‘We always thought it was a slight possibility given who Euroa and the Swans were playing, but we thought what will be, will be,” she said.

‘‘We definitely said our thank-yous at the end of the game given that we drew and an hour later the whole morale of the team changed.

‘‘Our game wasn’t pretty to watch, so we were rapt to get to play another week.’’

The Murray Bombers will look to test Shepparton United in their encounter at Tatura on Saturday afternoon.

But in a major blow, they will take the court without Eve Gregor.

The star defender severely injured her knee in the third quarter, with scans to come this week that will reveal the extent of the injury.

But Frame said it was likely she would miss the first week of the finals, as she said concern for their teammate took some of her players’ concentration in the final quarter.

Kloe Miechel held down the fort in goal keeper along with Dearnah Kent in goal defence for the last quarter.

As both sides ended on the same score, the lead seesawed all game.

Mansfield was a goal up at the main break before the Murray Bombers moved back in front by the final change.

Given how close her side came to defeating a major competitor this season, Mansfield coach Emily Hutchins said it added a positive note to a year that yielded one win and a draw.

‘‘It was incredible, it was such a good feeling to finish the season like that and it gave a bit of a reward for the girls for the effort they’ve put in,’’ she said.

‘‘We mainly wanted to focus on the start of the game and keeping with them, with such a young team we’ve struggled to put together four quarters but we were running on a bit of adrenalin.’’

Hutchins was thrilled with the performances of Bonnie Toogood and Nelle Cousins, who have been particular standouts all season.

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