Cats scratch premiers from the finals

Macedon's Genaya Bourke passing into the circle was a key to the Cats win. Picture Shawn Smits

Macedon knocked reigning premiers Melton Centrals out of the Riddell District Netball League finals in the first round on Saturday.

The Cats, who finished third on the ladder, were too good for sixth-placed Centrals in what was an even elimination final for most of the day.

But the Cats did the damage in the third quarter, outscoring Centrals 8-3 in rain and wind to win 34-26 at Rockbank’s Ian Cowie Reserve.

Bec Colwell shot 32 from 36 attempts for the Cats.

Cats coaches Karri Ambler and Kelly Nicholas said bringing on Genaya Burke into goal attack proved to be the key move of the day.

“We switched her to goal attack and her feeding to Bec Colwell was brilliant,” they said.

“The defence of Kymberley Grant and Kate McLeod worked well. Kate played as keeper all day as the Centrals had a really tall shooter.”

The conditions meant both sides had to adjust their playing styles.

“We had to take it slowly as you couldn’t get a run-on down the court,” the coaches said.

“It was really slow movement which seemed to work for us despite normally playing with a bit more pace.

“Some of the shots would look like they were on line before the wind would take them in a different direction.”

The coaches said Tarryn Mackie would return to the side to face Riddell in this weekend’s semi-final.

Mackie was named on the team sheet on Saturday but hasn’t played since hurting her knee in round 11.

The winner of the match will go through to the grand final, while the loser will play in the preliminary final on the following weekend.

Ambler and Nicholas said it was hard to judge how their side would match up against the Bombers as neither was coaching when the two sides met in the home-and-away season and both had had personnel changes.

“They’re different sides to last time,” they said.

“We need to shoot goals against their formidable defence.

“The feed into our shooters is the key for us.

“It’s hard to get through [Riddell’s] Danni Davidson and Lauren Close.”