Lucindale will be seeking its first A grade netball flag since 1983 in Saturday’s KNTNA grand final against Keith.
The Roos last won the premiership back in the old Kowree-Naracoore Netball Association days, defeating Apsley in the 1983 grand final.
Since Lucindale won its last title, Keith has won a staggering 12 A grade premierships.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the grand final is that minor premiers Naracoorte aren’t there. The Demons have missed only one of the last 10 grand finals, but in such an even year it could have been any of the top five or six teams that take to the Frances courts this weekend.
Lucindale seems to have hit on a perfect blend of youth and experience this year. The Roos have some experienced heads in Mel Gear, Nikki Smart, Karen Justin, Sally Logan and Lucinda Raedel, but recruited superbly in the off season to pick up Chloe Dawson, Hayley Smart, Trudy Holland and Holly Hannaford.
Led by top former player Kerry Gilkes, the Roos have done everything right in the lead-up to the big game and their 52-42 win over Keith in the qualifying final would give them huge confidence that they are good enough to handle the Crows in this game.
Grand finals are nothing new to Keith. The Crows have won 11 A grade premierships in the 24-year history of the KNTNA and this is their 19th grand final. Nineteen out of 24 – what a record.
Mandy Harper has been the one constant over the last decade and she is still a rock in defence, but the Crows have been able to bring in a number of new players who have gelled well with the Keith netball system
Keith goalers Mary Wachtel and Erika Lamont will be tough to rein in, especially when well fed by the likes of Whitney Smith, Jess Smart and Lily Forrest.
Keith has the finals credentials but this is a new-look side so Lucindale probably has the more experienced team. The Roos will also have a lot of enthusiasm and intensity and a big, vocal crowd behind them and they will be hard to beat as they try to make it an A grade double on the day with the Lucindale footballers.
Lucindale to win narrowly.
Make sure you visit the Herald website Saturday night for photos from senior and junior netball and football, and full scores from the day’s play
Click here for preliminary final netball photos from all grades