Division one set for final

Sovereigns’ division one team is raring to go ahead of its Victorian Netball League knock-out semi-final clash with City West Falcons on Wednesday night.

Sovereigns finished 10 points clear in fourth, but 14 points behind Falcons. However, coach Kim Bailey is confident her group is capable of winning through to the preliminary final.

Falcons comfortably defeated Sovereigns in its first outing, but Sovereigns hit back to square the ledger with a 10-goal win in round 12.

Bailey said there was plenty of excitement in the build-up to Wednesday night. Since Sovereigns inception into the VNL, it has only had 19/under teams play finals, but division one will not be satisfied by simply making up the numbers.

Bailey said while City West Falcons had a wealth of finals experience, she felt her group would handle the occasion.

“The girls were really upbeat at training and really excited about the game,” Bailey said.

“We’re trying to keep a lid on it a little bit.

“They’re (Falcons) a very experienced finals team...that’s what they’ve got over us, a lot of our girls haven’t experienced a final before.

“We just need to temper that and hold our nerve and not throw balls away in the heat of the moment. We’re on this journey together and this is only one part of the journey, if we want to keep going and get to that long-term goal, we have to win this game.”

Bailey said the core group of the side would remain the same with the only change being 19/under player Keara Fitzgerald coming into the side. Bailey said a combination of quick ball movement and pressure across the court would allow it to gain the upper hand on Falcons.

“At training we focus on that all-court pressure, we know we have to do that.

“I think we’re faster through the mid-court, so I think that will help us...I think that’s our strength, our speed and our ball movement.

“We’ve done our homework and hopefully we can get the win, I don’t care if it’s one goal, as long as we get the win.

“We’ve got a few options up our sleeve that we can play with. We did a little bit of experimenting with the line-up...but when you’ve got that luxury of having a 10-point buffer (to fifth on the ladder) we could do it.”

Another key factor in deciding the match will be how Sovereigns can quell the influence of 210cm shooter Tharjini Sivalingan. Sivalingan was contained when the Sovereigns beat Falcons, so much so she sat the final quarter on the bench. 

While for Sovereigns, inform goalers Chloe Wilson and Rebecca Scott will be crucial.

Play will begin at 8.25pm at Melbourne’s State Hockey and Netball Centre.

PASS: Sovereigns division one mid-courter Anica Shearer fires off a pass against Geelong Cougars a fortnight ago. Picture: Kate Healy

PASS: Sovereigns division one mid-courter Anica Shearer fires off a pass against Geelong Cougars a fortnight ago. Picture: Kate Healy