"To be the best, you've got to beat the best."
Following his side's semi-final victory over Bungaree, Springbank coach Garth Kydd says he is excited for the Tigers preliminary-finals match-up with undefeated Learmonth next weekend.
The three time premiership coach says applying elite pressure around the ball is going to be the biggest focus for the Tigers leading up to the titanic clash.
"I think the key to beating Learmonth is just about constant pressure," he said.
"(Learmonth's) defence is incredible throughout all areas of the court. If we can put the pressure on early hopefully a few cracks will start to show but I imagine it will go right down to the wire."
The Tigers reached the preliminary-final thanks to a strong 44-26 victory over Bungaree on Sunday afternoon.
Kydd told The Courier he felt comfortable for the majority of the game and was pleased with the way his side performed under pressure.
"I think we felt comfortable throughout the entire game... being up by 10 at half time, we felt very comfortable and felt confident that it was only a matter of time until the floodgates opened.
"The final message coming out of half time was just about steady hands and steady heads... players like Kelly (Conroy) and Cynna (Kydd) are well aware of what needs to be done at those important moments in a game."
Elsewhere Buninyong ensured each of the top-four teams on the ladder would play next week as they gutted out a hard-fought 55-42 win over Rokewood-Corindhap on Saturday afternoon.
Player/coach Meg Gilbert says the scoreboard didn't reflect the intensity or evenness of the contest.
"It was definitely a close game for the first three quarters," Gilbert said.
"It wasn't until the very end that we managed to pull away, it was certainly a tough game."
Gilbert said she couldn't identify exactly why the Bombers were able to pull away and secure the 13-goal win, rather her side's resilience played a large role in coming out on top.
"I think we were just lucky enough to get on top of things and run away with the game down the stretch... we just stayed positive and played a full, four quarter game."
The win means the Bombers will face Hepburn in the preliminary-final next week. Being one of only two teams to beat Hepburn all season, Gilbert says her side is going into the game confident they can cause an upset.
"We're going in confident but we're well aware that it's going to be a very tough game, Hepburn are obviously one of the top and we know we're going to have to play our best to beat them.
"Anything can happen in finals, Hepburn are one of those teams that never give up but we know what we can do on our best days."
Buninyong 55 d Rokewood-Corindhap 42
Springbank 44 d Bungaree 26
The 2019 Ballarat Netball League A-grade finals are set following some key results at the weekend.
The Ballarat Swans and Bacchus Marsh Cobras secured the final two spots in the post-season, while Melton South will watch the finals from the outside after missing out by percentage.
Ballarat ensured its spot with a 13-goal win over Darley on the road. The Swans were challenged by the Devils, who were able to keep the score relatively close throughout the game, but couldn't close the deficit in the second half.
Ballarat goal-shooter Lydia Jordan showcased her shooting accuracy, connecting on 29 of 31 attempts while goal-attack Rachel Grawich added 35 goals in the victory.
The loss brings an end to a disappointing season for Darley, who only managed one win across 16 games.
Elsewhere North Ballarat City put an end to Melton South's season with a 67-34 drubbing in Melton. Bacchus Marsh will enter the post-season coming off a loss, going down to first-placed Sunbury by 17 goals, Redan fell just short against visitors Melton and Lake Wendouree won comfortably against Sebastopol.
Ballarat 64 d Darley 51
North Ballarat City 67 d Melton South 34
Melton 34 d Redan 32
Lake Wendouree 61 d Sebastopol 44
Sunbury 59 d Bacchus Marsh 42
LADDER: SUNBURY 68, 166.14; NORTH BALLARAT CITY 64, 147.34; EAST POINT 56, 137.44; LAKE WENDOUREE 52, 128.42; BALLARAT 40, 110.62; BACCHUS MARSH 40, 92.36; Melton South 40, 85.42; Melton 28, 72.00; Sebastopol 20, 85.81; Redan 16, 72.48; Darley 12, 57.22
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