ANOTHER chapter in the fierce rivalry between Old Collegians and Panmure will be played out this Saturday, but this time the prize is bigger than ever.
The two will come face-to-face in the 2013 A grade netball grand final after Old Collegians recorded a 48-40 preliminary final win over Dennington at the Reid Oval courts on Saturday.
It will be the fourth time Old Collegians and Panmure have played each other this season, with the most recent of these in the second semi-final when the Bulldogs won by four goals.
They were also winners in round 13 by an 18-goal margin but the Warriors inflicted Panmure’s only loss for the season with a one-goal victory in round two.
Coaches from the two grand finalists have described the four clashes so far this season as physical games and with so much at stake on grand final day it is brewing as a game to remember.
Old Collegians coach Lisa Arundell said there would be no stone unturned in the preparation for the grand final.
“We take it one game at a time so now we will refocus ourselves to how we will give ourselves the best chance against Panmure,” Arundell told The Standard.
“We will collect our thoughts and look at our match-ups and go back and see what worked and what didn’t against them in the second semi-final.”
The Warriors had plenty working for them on Saturday in what was a tight and tough tussle against the Dogs.
At quarter-time the Warriors led 13-12 but they made their move in the second quarter to open up a 27-23 lead by half-time, which proved to be a margin the Dogs could not made inroads into.
They were able to win the game despite a lower shooting percentage. Old Collegians missed 23 shots at goal while the Dogs were more effective, missing just 14.
Arundell said the lower scoring percentage was offset by a solid effort in other areas.
“I thought we were really focused from the start, it was a good hard game of netball by both sides,” Arundell said
“We do play possession netball, you can’t win if you haven’t got the ball and we were able to protect the ball a bit better than them today.”
Dennington coach Josie Bolden said she struggled to find the defining area where her team fell down on Saturday.
She said it was probably as simple as her team not being as precise as their opponents.
“I think we made a few more mistakes than they did,” Bolden said.
“Our girls tried hard but Old Collegians didn’t panic and used the ball better than us and they deserve to be in grand final. It should be a great game.”