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The Victorian Fury are chasing their fourth consecutive Australian Netball League premiership next weekend.
Finishing third on the ladder, the Victorians will play the second placed Western Sting at Waverley Netball Centre at 5pm, Saturday, September 17.
They join Netball NSW Waratahs and Queensland Fusion, finishing first and fourth respectively in the finals weekend. The Waratahs and Fusion will battle it out at 3pm, before the hometown girls take to the court.
The Australian Netball League Grand Final will take place at 2pm, Sunday, September 18 at Waverley Netball Centre featuring the winners of Saturdays games. Those defeated will play off in a Preliminary Final at 12pm.
Top of the ladder team Netball NSW Waratahs remain undefeated thus far in the 2011 Australian Netball League. They have won four of seven games by a margin exceeding 20 goals, with close encounters against the Victorian Fury, Western Sting and South Australia. The Waratahs will play their state rivals Netball NSW Blues tonight (Wednesday 7) to wrap up the regular season.
The Western Sting finished second on the ladder and has six wins under their belt approaching their first finals campaign in ANL history. Finishing the season with back to back wins against the Territory Storm and Tassie Spirit, the side will be looking to continue their winning streak when they take on the Victorian Fury, who have won the ANL premiership since the competitions inception in 2008.
Despite going down to finals rivals Queensland Fusion and Netball NSW Waratahs, the Fury will use their eight goal win against the Sting earlier in the season to their advantage. Fever player Josie Janz will be a tough competitor for the Victorian attack while Fury shooter Karyn Bailey has been outstanding this season finishing first in the ANL shooting statistics with 257 goals from 298 attempts at 86%.
Fourth placed Queensland Fusion ended their six game winning streak at the weekend when they lost successive games against finals contenders Western Sting and Netball NSW Waratahs, going down by just one to the Sting and 22 to the Waratahs. Fusion are set to play the Waratahs again next weekend and will be looking to bounce back to secure their place in the Grand Final.
The penultimate round for the season played out at the weekend and Fury finished off their season with consecutive wins, defeating Tassie Spirit 57-36 and Territory Strom 67-48.
Both wins were convincing for Coach Cathy Fellows, who gave court time to 14 players over the two games.
Despite a close start against the Storm, the Fury broke away and maintained a strong lead for the rest of the game, and they were comfortably ahead of the Spirit for the four quarters to secure their 21 goal win.
Co-Captain Kathleen Knott said it was a definite advantage playing at their home court for the finals. Hearing the crowd cheer is like having another player out there, she said.
The ANL finals are the last opportunity for players to impress the ANZ Championship team coaches before team lists are finalised in November, adding more pressure to what is going to be a highly contested finals series.
Finals will be held at Waverley Netball Centre, from 3pm, Saturday, September 17 and will conclude on Sunday 17. A presentation will take place after the Grand Final.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.
For more information visit www.netball.asn.au