By STEVE MENZIES
A day with intriguing games through the grades is highlighted by a KFC A-Grade clash between Rovers Complete Construction in the Pat Gallagher Netball Centre stadium on Saturday last week.
It is the sixth time the two clubs, that have won every A-Grade premierships since 2005, have met this season. Rovers hold a 3-2 winning edge at the moment.
They move the ball swiftly and securely down the court to set up scoring chances with both capable of a goal or more every minute of the game, so there is plenty of action for spectators.
Both teams will be, barring late withdrawals, as good as they will be for the rest of the season.
With Rovers lethal weapon Wendy Stafford having left town, Suzi Barter should regain her place in the attack circle and captain Shannan King expects defender Tegan McClure to be available after missing the preceding week.
Federal key defender Tahlia Lee expects veteran Crystal Dixon to be available.
Lee and King agree that the record this season has no bearing on this game – but it does show how closely matched the teams are.
King said the wins against Federal gave the players more confidence but the focus is firmly on the game on Saturday and not what to come.
Lee is looking forward to the game especially with a full side – which has not been the case in the losses to Rovers.
This presents coach Deb Gray with the dilemma of who to play in what positions as the youngsters she has used to field the team have performed well.
Lee expected a close game as collectively Rovers is a very good side at applying pressure.
King agreed, saying that applying one-on-one pressure all down the court was one of its main strengths: “This is just another game in the regular season and while we want to win, there is a focus on later in the year,” she said.
“Molly (Southam) was in the best form of her career last week and will provide a target in attack.
“Brooke (Wilson) and Tahlia (Lee) are a couple of strengths for Federal and we will have to work hard to counter them: “But it will be team effort that wins this game.”
Federal and Rovers will play again in Round 18, in three weeks time, immediately before the finals.
There is plenty of interest in the A-Reserves as with the two A-Grade teams playing each, the six A-Reserves teams are pitted against other with places in the finals still to be determined.
Top-side Rovers Complete Construction play sixth-placed Federal Club Eastside. Although at the bottom of the table, Federal is only one point behind third-placed Wests Gillen.