THEY have been the two best teams in Ballarat Football League netball all season.
But, as Lake Wendouree and East Point prepare to face off in a preliminary final on Saturday at Eastern Oval, Sectrol Lakers senior netball coach Sally McLean rejects the view that the grand final is effectively being played one week early.
Melton defeated Lake Wendouree in the second semi-final to advance straight into the grand final, which means the Lakers now have some work ahead of them, starting with another encounter with old sparring partner East Point.
“I guess there was an expectation the top two teams were going to play off (in the grand final) but finals are always a different thing,” McLean said at yesterday’s BFL press conference at Saxon House.
“There is never a guarantee that any two teams are going to play in the grand final, you actually have to win games to get there.
“We didn’t do that last week and we’ve put ourselves into a position where we are playing in a preliminary final.
“Melton were too good for us, basically. It was a three-goal difference, which wasn’t massive, but they led from the start of the game.
“We probably never worked our way into it.”
Lake Wendouree has defeated East Point three times this season.
While McLean does not believe the Lakers have the wood on the Red Lion Kangaroos, East Point assistant coach Jess MacGowan admits it is a concern.
“It certainly does weigh on our minds,” she said.
“We know we haven’t done what we needed to do to beat them.
“Everybody has a certain role within the team, so everybody has to do that role for four quarters. That’s the biggest thing.
“We watch footage from the games and we know there is a quarter when we don’t play our best netball.
“It can be the second or the third. If we can manage to make our rotations happen at the right times we feel we should be able to do what we need to to beat them.”