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NETBALL – Maccabi teams set for grand finals

TWO out of three Maccabi teams won their Randwick Netball Association preliminary final matches last Saturday, but all three played exceptionally well in exciting, top-quality contests. It took impressive resilience and fight for Maccabi’s women’s B1 grade team to get across the line in an extra-time thriller versus the UNSW Orcas. Maccabi began well enough, leading 8-6 at quarter-time, but gave away too much ball in a poor second quarter and were made to pay with a five-point half-time deficit, as the Orcas’ passing game began to click. The Maccabi women turned things around in the third and fourth quarters, when their midcourt players regained the ascendency and provided quality service to goal shooter Shayna Slotar and goal attack Hannah Vasin, who were able to lift their accuracy and score frequently. With scores level at 34-all and still tied after the first period of extra-time, pressure caused by Maccabi’s excellent defence caused crucial turnovers in the final minutes and Maccabi edged in front to win by 40-39. Maccabi captain Kerryn Josman said while her team were minor premiers, “the other top teams have all stepped up and raised their games in this finals series, so we had to match that”. “When we were down at halftime today, we knew we needed to shut out the background noise and really focus on applying pressure and back ourselves.” Also on the prelim finals winners’ list were the Maccabi Lime U13 division 4 team, who played one of their best games of the season to topple Randwick Rugby and Netball Club Blue by 22-8. Maccabi Blue bowed out in U13 division 3, but by the slimmest of margins, losing a gripping contest by 23-24 versus Bondi United. In grand finals action this Saturday, Maccabi’s B1 women’s team and U13 Lime side will be joined by the club’s U13 division 5 red team, who had booked their place a week earlier when winning their major semi-final.

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