History on the line for SEQ grand finalists

The stage is set for eight hotly contested games at the State Netball Centre in Upper Mount Gravatt on Friday night, as associations battle it out to be crowned South East Queensland (SEQ) Challenge champions.

With the competition to be expanded to a state wide Queensland Premier League in 2017, grand finalists will be competing not only for silverware but for a slice of history as the last ever stand-alone SEQ champions.

In the night’s feature match, Ipswich Netball Association will take on Western Districts Netball Association for the Open Division 1 title.

With Western Districts holding an undefeated record leading into the decider, Ipswich coach Patricia McInally said her side would draw inspiration from their underdog billing.

“The girls all told each other why they want to win so badly at the end of their very last training session. They fired each other up,” McInally said.

“Western Districts are strong all over the court. We’ve got to show we have the heart and the will to win. They beat us in the preliminary final, so we have nothing to lose.

“In the last game we played against Logan we had a great performance. I think we’re on the up and have put ourselves in a position to do ourselves justice on Friday.”

Western Districts’ side features a host of players with Queensland State Netball League Division 1 and Division 2 experience and have thrived in the SEQ competition as a result.

Coach Camille Rieck said despite strong, consistent showings from her side throughout the year they were on high alert heading into the decider.

“We’ve been a benchmark for the competition and our players have enjoyed every moment. They’ve never taken anything for granted and have always put their best foot forward,” Rieck said.

“If Ipswich get on a run and turn and deliver the ball into the shooting circle, they’re very accurate. We can’t underestimate how good they are on the shot and we need to stop them before they get into the circle. In defence they also have a lot of maturity and experience. Their defenders are very quick thinkers and they read the body and position of the players really well.

“Having said that our team are all very motivated and very much enjoy playing in the SEQ competition. Our defence end is particularly strong – we manage to turn over a lot of ball – and our shooters are very accurate. We can never underestimate Ipswich, but our girls are aware of the expectations for this grand final.”

Players to watch

Ipswich: Look out for centre Tayla Rosin to ignite her side. The speedy 22-year-old will be in the thick of everything Ipswich do in attack and defence with her quick feet and silky skills.

Western Districts: Queensland underage star Tippah Dwan has starred for Western Districts on their march to the grand final. The accurate shooter has struck a great partnership with dynamic goal attack Rachel Crawford and the two have been troubling opposition defences all year.

Get down to the State Netball Centre for a bumper night of grand final action. Entry is $5 for adults and $3 for concessions on the door.

SEQ Challenge grand final night

6.30pm: U/19 Division 1 – Brisbane v Downey Park (Court 1), U/16 Division 1 – Western Districts v Highfields and Districts (Court 2), U/19 Division 2 –  Redlands v Pine Rivers (Court 3), U/16 Division 2 – Caboolture v Queensland Catholic (Court 4).

8pm: Open Division 1 – Western Districts v Ipswich (Court 1), Open Division 2 – Caboolture v Metropolitan Districts (Court 2), Open Division 3 – Jimboomba v MacGregor (Court 3), Men’s – Western Districts Red v Pine Rivers (Court 4).