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WITH third place on the ladder under wraps, reigning premiers South Mildura are steeling themselves for an elimination final in SFNL A Grade netball.

Loretta Thompson’s Bulldogs defeated Red Cliffs 77-24 at Sarah Oval on Saturday and play Mildura this week, but Ouyen United the week after is already a fait accompli.

While South finished higher on the ladder, the semi-final has been drawn to be played down the highway at Blackburn Park, so the home crowd will certainly be on the side of the Kangas.

“I think it’s about staying fit and healthy and getting ready to fight,” Thompson said about the preparation for that semi-final.

On Saturday, although matched up against a young Tigers outfit, the Bulldogs showed they are going to be a tough out in the finals.

Conditions weren’t pretty, with a bitter wind prevailing across the court making the game a bit of an arm wrestle, but the Bulldogs still managed to transition well.

“We did talk about keeping it nice and short and flat in the weather,” Thompson said.

“And working the goalers into a shorter shot, so that was good.”

Thompson was also pleased that, coming off a bye, the Bulldogs were able to get into gear from the outset.

“It was nice to have a week’s rest, we actually rested all week – I think the girls needed that to get over a few aches and pains,” Thompson said.

“I was happy with the way they started and they played a good four quarters.”

On the scoreboard the Tigers were well beaten, but they did have the occasional flutter.

They will take a lot out of the game, playing a team which, like South Mildura, was built on youth for a number of years with some senior experience guiding them.

Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily

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