City West Falcons will renew acquaintances with Melbourne University Lightning in the Victorian Netball League championship division grand final.
The Falcons set up the semi-final rematch after a comprehensive win over DC North East Blaze on Wednesday night.
After an even first quarter, the Falcons blew the game open in the second and third quarters, before giving players on the bench a final quarter run.
The Falcons won 66-46, a win that sets up a grand final match against the Lightning, with one goal separating the two teams after their most recent games.
Falcons’ coach Marg Lind says they grew as a side as the game progressed.
“It was a good result and played well as a team, which is a good thing heading into the final,” she said.
“They made a lot of changes, which they needed to make, but we were able to stave them off.
“We could have put other players on, but we wanted to make sure we didn’t let them back.”
Lind said having a match-winning lead after three quarters meant the Falcons were able to give some younger players finals’ exposure, without pressure to score.
“The whole team has played in the match, so they’ve all got that.
“We’re less experienced than the Lightning,” Lind added.
Kath Knott was the best of the goalers, with 39 goals from 45 attempts. Jane Cook and Julia Woolley scored 13 goals each.
Captain Maggie Lind also spent time in the attacking circle.
“Maggie used to play goals at national under age level, so nothing new for her,” Lind said.
“Julia had a knock to the head, and it was just as a precaution.
“Bringing Kath back on would have been stupid on a cold night.”
The Falcons entry into the grand final this year is from a very different position to its last couple – they won’t be going into the game as favourites this year.
Lind said it will be the side that handles the pressure best that takes home the title.
“I think we are the underdog,” she said.
“It will give us a chance to focus on ourselves and do our homework.
“Credit to the girls to get their heads back on track after the semi-final loss,” Lind said.
The Falcons’ division 1 side is also in the grand final, while the under-19 side fell just short, losing in its preliminary final.