Bumper round on the courts

June 09, 2018

A grand final rematch between Moama and Tongala highlights a bumper weekend of Murray Netball League action.

Steering towards the pointy end of the season, the Magpies third and the Blues fifth head into the clash.

Few would forget last season’s decider in which the less-fancied Blues gave their opponents a good run for their money, before Moama came up with big plays in the defining moments to win 41-31.

But Tongala coach Dylan Nexhip said it would be a different looking game today.

‘‘I think we’re fairly different, we’ll only have three girls from that side, and I’m not sure about them but they might have a couple more,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s two new-look sides and it will be a really good gauge for us.

‘‘A win would be pretty good for us, our start hasn’t been too bad but we’ve got away with a few games. It would be great for our confidence moving forward to beat a team ranked above us.’’

Moama has responded well to its first loss of the season, comprehensively handling Barooga and Congupna after its one-goal loss to Rumbalara in round seven.

Tongala’s fortunes have been more up and down and hit the game off a bye after a three-goal loss to Echuca United the week before.

Nexhip said the Magpies posed a whole range of problems.

‘‘They’re just strong all over the court, they’re really accurate at the goal end and quite tall,’’ he said.

‘‘They read the play very well and it’s a matter of combating that and Ange Slattery is probably the best player in the league in my opinion.

‘‘Their ability to turn the ball over and then convert at the other end is really good. For us it’s about cutting down on errors and not feeding their supply.’’

●In the round’s other fixtures, Tungamah will be looking for a crucial win when it travels to Barooga, looking to grab a victory to keep it firmly in the hunt for finals.

Echuca United’s recent strong form will be put to the test, looking to make it five wins in a row against Deniliquin, the league’s last remaining undefeated team at 8-0.

At 6-2, Cobram goes into its game against Mulwala as favourite, but will need to be near its best to deal with the ninth-placed Lions.

Numurkah has been in quality form and will keep pushing for the top four against Shepparton East.

In the remaining clashes, Congupna will take on Katandra and Nathalia will battle Finley.

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