TERANG Mortlake and North Warrnambool Eagles face juggling acts with their players when the Hampden league’s netball finals start this weekend.
The two clubs meet in Sunday’s A grade elimination final and Saturday’s 17 and under qualifying final.
Junior players are only eligible to play six quarters across a weekend come finals under Hampden league bylaws.
Bloods quartet Lisa Couch, Joanna Couch, Ailish Glennen and Sharni Moloney will contest both grades, as will Eagles Annie Blackburn, Sarah Bullen, Grace Chow and Maddy Drew.
Kate O’Meara will sit on the Eagles’ A grade bench as a back-up goaler.
Terang Mortlake A grade coach Pam Davis said she would work closely with 17 and under mentor Jess O’Connor to determine how best to split the teenage Bloods’ game time.
“It’s only invoked in finals,” Davis said of the weekend rule.
“During the home-and-away season they can play two full games.
“We have to manage them, whether they play three (quarters) in both or two in one and four in another.
“It’s to stop people stacking teams or dropping players backwards.
“They are the rules and we play by them.”
The two clubs shared the spoils in the 17 and under competition during the regular season.
The Eagles recorded a five-goal win in round three and the Bloods claimed a one-goal victory in round 12.
“They lost to North in the grand final last year, all those girls, so they’re really determined to go out and have a crack again,” Davis said.
“They have a second chance at it too, whereas ours (A grade) is a do-or-die.”
The A grade battles between the two clubs were also thrillers.
Terang Mortlake won by a goal in round three and North Warrnambool Eagles celebrated a six-goal win in round 12.
Davis said the Eagles were a danger side, despite just scraping into the top five. She said the Bloods were keen to build on their solid home-and-away form.
“We set a goal to make finals and now we are in finals we want to win,” Davis said.
North Warrnambool Eagles coach Sharon Kenna said the club had 11 players on its 17 and under list, making it easier to prepare.
Chow will get more A grade game time this weekend in the absence of key midcourter Sophie Barr.
“Grace will get another run in centre,” Kenna said.
She said the Eagles placed a strong emphasis on junior development.
“We have always had strong juniors, so we see it as a chance for them to play seniors so once they’re finished in juniors they have already played one or two seasons in seniors,” she said yesterday.
“Sarah Bullen this year in A grade has known exactly what to do because it is her second year playing.”