History suggests a close contest will be fought out between Tatyoon and Woorndoo-Mortlake in Saturday’s Mininera District Netball Association qualifying final.
A total of just 13 goals have separated the Hawks and Tigers in their last five contests, with the two teams clearly the best in the MDNA’s top flight for the past two seasons.
The Hawks enjoyed the week off in the first round of the finals having finished on top of the ladder, one spot ahead of the Tigers.
“Most of the girls took the opportunity to take the week off and get mentally refreshed for the coming weeks,” Tatyoon coach Lisa Antonio said.
The Tigers had the wood over the Hawks in their tight contests, winning four of the five matches since 2016. Tatyoon triumphed in round 15 this season, claiming the minor premiership and a significant confidence boost in the process.
The Hawks edged the Tigers out 42-39 in that win.
“You can tell there has been a rivalry for a number of years,” Antonio said.
“I think for our girls it was important from a mental perspective to have the belief we can beat them,” Antonio said.
“They had been on the winning side of that ledger the last few times. It was important for us to show we are a contender.
“We are under no illusions it will be a tough contest it is pleasing to have a 1-1 ledger rather than 2-0 for the season.”
The Tigers go into the match in winning form, having defeated Penshurst last weekend.
Antonio said she thinks having the week off last weekend makes little difference, good or bad.
“You can tell they have played together for a long time. There is also a good blend of youth and experience,” she said.
“To me I think if your side is good enough it doesn’t matter if you have the week off or not. It will be a tough match regardless.”
Tatyoon will be at full strength for the contest, with a grand final berth up for grabs for the winner.
The Hawks will have a home ground advantage, with Saturday’s qualifying finals taking place at Tatyoon.
Antonio said she does not think playing on their home court will have much of an impact.
“Netball courts are the same wherever you go. The bonus for us will be having some home town support,” she said.
“I would like to see us come out and play our offensive brand of netball and play our own game.
“We have a very versatile side with the ability to make moves internally if we need which is a big strength.”
It will be a big weekend for the Hawks, with four other netball sides competing across the two days.