Brothers Crimson shooting for nine straight
NETBALL: Brothers Crimson will go in search of their ninth straight Senior A title in Rockhampton on Saturday night.
Standing in their way is a familiar foe in Colts Divas, who booked their grand final berth with a 51-45 semi win over Frenchville Sharks on Wednesday night.
Brothers edged Colts by just one goal in last year’s decider and that spirited rivalry has continued through 2019.
Just two goals separated the two teams in their last meeting of the regular season.
Colts coach Katrina Whitham said her players would draw plenty of confidence from their come-from-behind semi win over Frenchville.
“That’s the first time we’ve beaten Frenchville this season.
“They were up all the way but we managed to pull away in the last quarter.
“I knew the girls would nut it out. It was a case of them just playing our game and in the last quarter they did that.”
Whitham plans to make some positional changes to “fine-tune” things for the final.
“It’s a bit like déjà vu for us,” she said.
“We were fourth on the ladder last year and came through to the grand final and lost by just one.
“We were third on the ladder this year so, hopefully, we can go one better in the final this year.”
Whitham will look to captain Pearl Hood and vice-captain Taylor Wark to lead the charge.
“Brothers play a very physical game so we have to be prepared,” she said.
“If we want it, we’ve really got to fight for it.”
Brothers captain/coach Bec Thompson, who has been part of six of the team’s premiership wins, is bracing for a tough encounter.
She said it was hard not to feel the weight of expectation in maintaining the team’s incredible winning streak.
“We’re definitely feeling the pressure because we don’t want to be the team that loses a final,” she said.
“Colts is the team Brothers beat in the final that started their winning run back in 2011 and there was just one point between us last year.
“We’d like it not to be as tight but I do think it’s going to be a close game.”
Thompson said her team’s greatest strengths were the ability to stay calm under pressure and play the full four quarters.
She knows they will need to work hard to contain Colts’ strong attack, spearheaded by goal shooter Kira-Lee Nicol.
“Colts have a lot of grit and they really show up to play against us.
“They’ve got a lot of depth so we’ll have to be on the top of our game to get over them.
“If we can play a tight, pressure-style defence, hopefully our attack end can then do their job and feed our circle and shooters well and we can maintain the lead.”
Thompson said mid-court player Dana Sherwood had been a welcome addition to the line-up this year.
She would have a key role to play on Saturday night, along with Ashlee Whouley also in mid-court, goal defence Rebecca Hall and goal shooter Juanita Hill.
“I will be asking the girls to play cool, calm and collected netball, to stick to what we’ve done all season and really tough it out to the final hooter.
“It’s going to be hard but if we try our best and play the netball we know we can play, hopefully we’ll get over the line.”
The grand final starts at 6.30pm at the CQUniversity Community Sports Complex.