JUST one bridge is left to cross for Panmure to claim its first A grade netball premiership.
The Bulldogs advanced to the grand final with a 46-42 victory over Old Collegians at the D. C. Farran Oval courts on Saturday.
The win has shored up the Bulldogs’ tag as flag favourites and given them a week off to prepare for one of the biggest netball games in the club’s history.
Victory on Saturday did not come gift-wrapped for Panmure, with Old Collegians showing they were worthy second semi-final opponents with a spirited showing.
The Warriors made the early running and snuck out to an 8-5 lead midway through the opening quarter.
But Panmure was soon able to find its best form and drag in that deficit and by quarter-time the scores were tied up at 11-all.
The second quarter was to be an important one, with Panmure able to creep out to a 25-22 lead at half-time.
This margin was small but significant as Panmure was able to keep Old Collegians at arm’s length during the second half and bed down its grand final berth.
Panmure coach Josie Ellerton said she was happy to get the win in what was a hard-fought game.
“It was a very physical game. We knew they would come out and throw everything at us,” Ellerton said.
“They were coming off a good win, so we had to be on our game and we just kept working hard all day.
“We took it goal by goal. We don’t look too far ahead. We know that in big games like this we need to stay focused on each contest.”
Ellerton led her team from the front with a best on court performance that saw her spend time at both goal attack and wing attack.
Goal shooter Charlotte McCutcheon got the job done under the ring with 36 goals, while Emma Roache was again a standout in defence.
The one downside to the win for the Bulldogs was Hannah McElgunn going off with a knee injury.
Ellerton said she expected McElgunn to be fit for the grand final.
Goal shooter Steph Jamieson did not play but should be fit to vie for selection in the grand final team.
Old Collegians coach Lisa Arundell agreed it was a physical game.
She said while the loss was disappointing, her team did not leave empty-handed.
“There were a lot of positives to take out of the game. Last time we played them we didn’t win many positions on the court, but I thought we did today,” Arundell said.
“We were able to stay in touch with them all day but just couldn’t peg them back.
“But we know we have what it takes to match it with them.”