Macedon in the A-grade grand final, again

Macedon’s Janelle Birch tries to intercept a pass directed at Wallan’s Katie Loader. (Luke Hemer)

By Tara Murray

Macedon’s hopes of back-to-back Riddell District Netball League premierships remain alive, with the Cats through to the grand final on Sunday.

The Cats left Wallan stunned in Saturday’s preliminary final at Romsey Park, with a fast start.

While the Cats slowed in the second half and the Magpies were able to peg back the margin a touch, the Cats still did enough to win 37-28.

Cats playing coach Ciara Stewart said they were more settled heading into this game than they had their previous two finals.

“I thought we were a big chance of beating them,” she said.

“Last time we played them we won by 11 and were missing Caitlyn Alifraco. They have yet to beat us in the last two years.

“I knew it would be close, but I thought we had something to match every player.”

Like in their first two finals, the Cats started well.

This, though, was their best start, leading 15-2 at quarter-time.

It left the Magpies with a lot of work to do and they started to bring-in the changes.

The game became wet and physical in the second half, but the Cats managed to maintain a decent lead, despite Wallan stepping up.

Stewart said poor third quarters was something that they need to work on.

But overall, she was happy.

Macedon’s Katie Clarke defends a shot from Chloe Meulenmeesters. Picture Luke Hemer

PHOTO GALLERY: Wallan vs Macedon 

“The girls were better and they turned the ball over less,” she said. “We tried lots of combos and it was a good win.”

Chloe Wilson shot 31 goals from 45 attempts and was one of the Cats’ best. Defender Janelle Birch was named best on court.

For Wallan, Gemma Grimmond was named their best. The Cats now face Rupertswood in the grand final.

The Sharks are the only team that the Cats haven’t beaten this season.

Last time the two teams met was in the qualifying final, with the Sharks winning 35-28.

Stewart said she hoped their experiences from the past few years would hold them in good stead.

“Last time we played them it was our worst game for the year and we lost by seven goals.

“We learned a lot from that. We’ve pretty much had the same team the last three years, so we’ve got some different scenarios and hopefully we have them covered.”

The A-grade side is one of two Macedon sides into the grand final. The under-19s upset Woodend-Hesket, winning 26-18.

The Cats’ B-grade side though was knocked out, losing to an experienced Romsey side 39-16.

Rupertswood has all four netball teams through to the grand final, with its C-grade side beating Broadford, 27-18.