Bombers shooting for grand final berth

Cobden will look to use the vast finals experience of players like Emily Finch when they come up against Koroit in Saturday’s second semi-final.

COBDEN and Koroit will go head-to-head for a spot in the Hampden league’s open netball grand final this Saturday.

The two sides, who finished first and second on the ladder will meet at Portland’s Hanlon Reserve at 1.15pm.

Bombers open coach Nadine McNamara is expecting this weekend’s clash at Portland to be a “highly contested game”.

“We went and watched them play North Warrnambool and they were in great form, so it’ll take a really consistent effort to beat them,” she said.

The two sides have split the season ledger one-one after the Bombers won the round four encounter 55-36 against a depleted Saints line-up.

Koroit won the follow-up clash 48-39 in round 13, which was the Bombers’ second defeat of the season.

They have since won every game heading into the finals, but McNamara knows her side faces a stern test against the reigning premier.

She said her side had identified areas of the Saints’ game they needed to be wary of when they hit the court this weekend.

“Their defensive pressure was really strong, so it’s a matter of us being patient (in possession),” McNamara said.

“And their transition into attack was quick at times, so it’s on us to reduce their feeds into their taller goalies.”

The Bombers had a week’s break as a result of finishing on top of the ladder, but spent their time perfecting their game against other opposition.

They played a practice match against Geelong Amateurs last Tuesday night, which McNamara said was “really beneficial” ahead of the weekend.

“It felt like their defenders played a similar split style defence that the top Hampden league teams play, so it was good for our goalies,” she said.

More importantly, Cobden had its full contingent of players spend time on court in the hit-out, which has been a rarity this season due to unavailability.

“We also had all nine players available, so it was great to have a look at all of our combinations,” McNamara said.

With one more night of training ahead of them, McNamara said she and her players were looking forward to what lies ahead.

“It was a really weird feeling having the weekend off and to not be playing at this time of year,” she said.

“But we’re all really keen to get on court and see what we can produce on Saturday.”

The open team also followed the club’s other netball sides across the weekend, with the division one and 13 and under teams both recording “good wins”.

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