After stumbling in the semi-finals, Western Roar have fought back in a big way by overcoming a valiant effort by the Curtin Hamersley Comets by 14 goals to make the WANL grand final.
Western Roar and Curtin Hamersley Comets went head to head at Gold Netball Centre on Friday night for the second spot in Sunday’s grand final.
From the outset, the Roar made a fast start with captain Maddison Schultz scoring the first goal of the match, although the Comets put in a strong effort to build up an early lead.
The combination of Aitaua Enari in goals backing up the defensive efforts of Ella Taylor and Liz Dronfield seemed to put the Comets in a favourable position early with Sloan Burton and Brittany Turnbull also getting good feeds in to Enari.
However, the Roar fought back with Schultz and Bella McLernon getting strong feeds into Sophia Lamers, who was beginning to find her groove within the goal circle.
Although the Roar managed to take the lead, the Comets fought back late to trail 15-14 at quarter time.
The second term saw Mia Henderson and Taylor continue a strong defensive approach for the Comets, although Zoe Cransberg stepped up the pressure for Roar while goal keeper Annabel Saggers made some strong interceptions.
As Saggers began dominating in defence for the Roar, it seemed as though they would begin extending their lead. However, late shots on goal by Enari brought the Comets back to bring the scores level at 28 apiece at half time.
Following the main break, Tess Gee-Cransberg made her presence known in wing attack, getting strong feeds in to Schultz and Lamers to produce one-way traffic for the Roar.
It seemed as though the Comets were struggling to keep up as the Roar began to dominate the court, putting their bodies on the line in the process with several taking a tumble in a collision.
While the Comets managed to rally together late in a bid to shave the margin down, the Roar held strong to lead 45-37 at the final change.
Early shots on goal by Enari and Burton and strong driving by Lindal Rohde produced hopes of a late comeback for the Comets during the early stages of the final term.
However, their efforts seemed too little too late as the Roar continued putting the pressure on and extending their lead to seal their spot in the grand final.
Despite a valiant effort by the Comets, the Roar brought it home with Emma Putt (4/4) producing late goals to seal the win 63-49.
Lamers also did not miss a single shot throughout the match, scoring a game-high 38 goals.
In a sense of deja vu, the Roar will go up against reigning premiers West Coast Warriors in the grand final for the second year in a row.
Western Roar will be the sole club to have all three of the teams represented in WANL Grand Finals, with their 20 & Under squad holding off reigning premiers Rangers 53-48, setting up a date with Peel Lightning in Sunday’s grand final.
After the thrilling Men’s Preliminary Final was forced into extra time, Curtin Hamersley Comets outlasted the West Coast Warriors to take an emotional 66-62.
The Comets will go up against Western Roar in Sunday’s grand final.