Six teams will battle to earn a 2016 Grand Final berth as the Victorian Netball League Preliminary Finals get underway at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Wednesday night.
The Championship clash between Minor Premiers, the City West Falcons and the DC North East Blaze will get the Preliminary Finals underway from 7pm.
Only two goals separated the arch-rivals in their previous outing, so fans can expect a nail-biting affair with everything to play for.
The Blaze face an enormous task of trying to contain the dynamic Falcons attack, with Kathleen Knott, Jane Cook and Julia Wooley all in dangerous form this season.
Former Melbourne Vixen Michaela Wilson will be pivotal in the defensive circle for the Blaze following the loss of Kaitlyn Black to an Achilles injury last week.
The Division One Preliminary Final between the Blaze and the Boroondara Express will follow at 8.25pm.
The Blaze will be eager to bounce back following their defeat to the Falcons in last week’s Semi-Final, but they face a confident Express outfit
“I think we can go all the way, we have worked so hard,” Boroondara Express Wing Attack Johanna Dash said.
“We are not going to change what we have been doing all year, we will aim keep it consistent, concentrate and just work hard.”
Dash’s mid-court battle against Tarryn Munro will be one of many key matchups across the court which will be pivotal in determining who advances to the final week in 2016.
The 19/Under Preliminary Final between the Blaze and Falcons will conclude a busy night of netball at 10pm.
The Blaze enter the match as the team to beat after finishing the regular season two games ahead of the Falcons.
Falcon Bridget O’Halloran’s mid-court battle against Georgia Harper will be one to keep an eye on, as will Blaze’s Suli Leota against Jaimee Hikuroa-Betham.
The winner from each Preliminary Final will advance to the Grand Finals which will be held at the SNHC on Saturday 27 August.
VNL Preliminary Finals
City West Falcons v DC North East Blaze (Court 1)
Division One, 8.25pm
DC North East Blaze v Boroondara Express (Court 1)
DC North East Blaze v City West Falcons (Court 1)
For the latest Victorian Netball League news, results and statistics visit vnl.com.au
Photo credit: David Callow