Contenders’ jigsaw filled in for finals

Diggers Rest’s Megan Jennings defends Melton Centrals’ Monika Dimovski. Picture: Shawn Smits

The six-team finals line-up is set in the Riddell District Netball League with just one round remaining in the season.

Melton Centrals won the battle for that sixth spot over Diggers Rest at McPherson Park at the weekend.

Unless Kilmore can cause a massive upset, the match-ups for the finals’ first week will stay as currently listed. If the Blues win, the Tigers slip to sixth.

Currently, Riddell will play Rupertswood, Macedon will face Centrals, and it will be a Romsey and Lancefield match-up.

Centrals managed to hold on to their finals spot. For most of the match, it looked as though the Centrals would easily beat the Burras, as they were leading at each of the breaks. At three-quarter time, last year’s premiers were 10 goals up.

But the Burras, knowing any finals hopes were on the line, fought back hard in the last quarter, falling just short of a tide-turner, with a 49-47 win to Centrals.

Melton coach Randy Pereira was rapt his side was able to hold on for the win.

“We were actually 10 goals up with about six minutes to go, and I think the girls thought they might have had it won,” he said. “Our lead actually got down to one goal before we eventually got it back out to the two.

“It was certainly nerve-wracking in the end, but it was great to get the win,” Pereira said.

The Centrals have the bye this week and the Burras can’t overtake them, even if they beat Macedon.

Rupertswood secured a double chance and top-two finish, with a 63-38 victory over Romsey. After sharing the points in round two, both teams were keen to get bragging rights.

The Sharks, coming off their second loss of the season last week, came out firing to lead by eight goals at quarter-time. The Redbacks reduced that to seven goals by half-time.

After the main break, the Sharks stepped up, shooting 37-19 in the second half.

Sharks defenders Kirsten Daley and Tess Abbott were best for their team,

Macedon will finish third on the ladder after defeating Lancefield. In a match that showed where both sides were at, it was the Cats who stepped up in the last quarter.

They led 33-31 at three-quarter time before a last quarter defensive masterclass restricted the Tigers to two goals.

The final score was 45-33.

Kate McLeod was judged best on court, while Taylah Watson was the Tigers’ best player.