Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Two Scrap for Fourth Spot; Bluebirds and Brumbies Meet in Do-or-Die Netball Encounter

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Two Scrap for Fourth Spot; Bluebirds and Brumbies Meet in Do-or-Die Netball Encounter

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Kennedy alan.kennedy@capnews.com.au

NETBALL: At the start of the Rockhampton Leagues Club A-grade campaign there were few who would have predicted that either Bluebirds or Frenchville Brumbies would fail to make the finals.

Certainly not Bluebirds coach Barb Ahmat, as her team fights to hold on to the A-grade crown won last year.

It all comes down to tonight's match to decide which team finishes fourth and which one finishes for the season.

C[pounds sterling]One thing is certain, if Brumbies beat us then we don't deserve to be in the final,C[yen] Ahmat said. C[pounds sterling]This game will be a final in itself.C[yen]

With Capricorn Coast clear in third spot on the ladder and red-hot favourite to win its match against Angels Titans tonight, it could hardly be a tighter struggle to make it into the finals.

C[pounds sterling]I think we have all our players back on deck,C[yen] Ahmat said.

Teenager Shanita Smith had put a scare into the Bluebirds camp when she rolled an ankle in a school game but now appears to be fully recovered while Julie Dunbar trained on Monday after bruising a knee severely over the weekend.

Ahmat sees the Brumbies' defence as their strong point.

C[pounds sterling]Keanna (Hopkins) and Alysha (Kuhl) are probably the best defensive combination locally,C[yen] she said.

The coach, however, sees shooter Poppy Larson and her partner in the attacking circle, Kate Kearney, as capable of scoring the goals Bluebirds require for the win.

C[pounds sterling]It will be a tight game,C[yen] she added.

Brumbies welcomed back Rachael McDonald when the Mustangs' A-grade team folded but the veteran player admits the strengthening of Brumbies with three Mustangs players has not totally gone to plan.

C[pounds sterling]It is taking us time to get a couple of our combinations right,C[yen] she conceded.

C[pounds sterling]Last week's win was encouraging for us.C[yen]

Brumbies dominated Angels Titans to record a comprehensive 44-20 victory. …

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