‘Mini final’ triumph primes Kolora-Noorat for Tigers encounter

KOLORA-NOORAT coach Glenice Justin hopes her netballers can replicate their heroics of last weekend in tomorrow’s A grade elimination final.

The Power meets Merrivale at Merrivale Recreation Reserve fresh from producing arguably its best performance of the season against Panmure.

The five-goal triumph against the Bulldogs, having trailed early, ensured the Power held off Allansford and Deakin University in the race for fifth.

Justin said the performance proved her players’ strength of character — a trait typical of successful sides.

“We got to seven or eight goals down in a do-or-die crunch game, lose and it was season over for us,” she said.

“For the girls to have that mental ability to tough that out and stay focused, concentrate and stick to what we were working on was really good.” Justin called for similar mental toughness against Merrivale tomorrow. Kolora-Noorat has lost both fixtures this season, by five goals and 11 goals.

Justin believed nerves would not be an issue for her players, despite the Tigers having a more experienced roster.

“Our last three games have been mini finals — Dennington, Deakin and Panmure. Every game we knew meant something,” she said.

“I’m pretty confident the pressure they’ve been under the last few weeks, the atmosphere and support around the court, has been like finals.”

The A grade outfit is one of four the Power has in finals. The A reserve, B grade and 17 and under sides are also chasing flags and morale is high at the club.

“It’s been about 10 years since we’ve all played finals together. It’s an exciting time for the club. We’re all feeding off each other,” Justin said.

Merrivale coach Tania Ross said she had confidence the Tigers could carry their good form in the second half of the season into finals.

“We’re really happy with the way we’ve been playing the second half of the season compared to the first half,” she said.

“We’ve still got quite a number of things we need to work hard at and playing Old Collegians last week was really good, they exposed those things for us.”

Ross predicted the elimination final would be a close affair and believed the winner could progress to the grand final.

She was adamant the Tigers were playing better netball than when they completed the season double against the Power in June.

“Our season was on the line during those few weeks, we were really focused on survival,” she said.

“After we came out of that we were able to focus on our game more. A lot has changed since we played them.”

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