Second grand final for Hawks

Laura Carland (Ljubica Vrankovic) 356240_06

Tara Murray

Woodend-Hesket’s dreams of a first Riddell District Netball League premiership remain on track with the Hawks through to the grand final.

After a first finals appearance and grand final last season, the Hawks were keen to build on what they did 12 months ago in this finals series.

Just like last year, the Hawks were able to win through to the grand final on the first attempt.

On Saturday, the Hawks beat minor premiers Riddell, 37-34 to get the week off heading into the decider.

Hawks playing coach Meg Grbac said hours after the game it was still settling in that they were through to another grand final.

“We were a very fresh finals side last year and we didn’t have a lot of finals experience,” she said.

“We said that we would be better off for it and we’ve seen the last couple of weeks two different games and we’ve been able to keep our composure when it really mattered.

“That finals experience has something to do with that.”

Grbac said this week’s final was very different from their win against Macedon when they had to come from behind.

She said they played with a lot more confidence this week and she did. They were very focused on what they could control and nothing else.

“I was super pleased with the effort,” she said. “The attack end was completely different look to last week.

“Last week they were hesitant, while this week there were a lot more confident. Ty [Coppinger] and Hayley [Rogers] out the front of me were phenomenal.

“It was a four quarter effort which you need as Riddell is a tough team.”

Grbac was thrilled with the performance of Abby Gilmore, who bounced back from a tough first final.

She said Gilmore and Charlee Duff-Tytler hit some stabilising shots when they were under pressure late in the game.

Grbac said the defensive pair of Coppinger and Rogers were everywhere in defence and contesting everything.

“Everyone on the court contributed,: she said. “I’ve got some great girls on the side lines that can come on the court and make an impact.”

The Hawks now have the week off before the grand final, as they did last year.

The Bombers will face either Macedon or Romsey in the preliminary final.

Grbac said they would look to enjoy the moment, but also continue to work hard with one goal in their focus.

“We want to keep a bit of momentum,” she said. “We’ll get back to training this week.

“It’s the same situation as last year and there’s still hard work ahead of us.

“We’ll continue to do what we we have been doing and enjoy it.”