Force set sights on sealing ANL finals berth

BurtonPhotography-1954519737Southern Force can become the third side to lock away its spot in the 2015 Australian Netball League finals when the team travels to Hobart as part of Week 4 action.

Force made a strong start to its campaign a fortnight ago, winning all three matches in Brisbane. A victory against Western Sting or Territory Storm will secure the 2012 champions a place in the upcoming semi-finals.

The major challenge facing Force coach Tania Obst ahead of Saturday night’s showdown against Western Sting is that she had 10 members of her squad involved in the State League Grand Final in Adelaide played this week.

With Sting having secured a place in the finals last round, Obst knows it will be a tough challenge for her playing group.

“We want to win and compete well in every game that we play,” Obst said. “You can’t afford to drop form because there are only three weeks left in this year’s competition.

“We know we’re up against a tough opponent in Sting, who are coming off a really good weekend in Perth and will no doubt be as fired up, as we are, for the challenge on Saturday night.”

Six of the previous seven contests between Force and Sting have been decided by fewer than 10 goals and Obst said the WA team has a good mix of young talent and experienced players.

IMG_6222“Kaylia Stanton is a focal point for them in goals so we’ll be looking at how we can combat that and they’ve got experienced players in the group like Andrea Gilmore and Lisa Millman and Courtney Bruce and Ingrid Colyer, who have been on West Coast Fever’s list,” Obst said.

“But we’ll go to Hobart with a lot of confidence.”

The other team still in contention for fourth spot, the Netball NSW Waratahs, face a must-win clash against the Canberra Darters in a one-off match at Netball Central at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday afternoon.

It will be Waratahs’ last match of their campaign but a win will lift them inside the top four at the end of the weekend. They will then be relying on QLD Fusion’s results in the last round to determine which team will be involved in the semi-finals.

The round gets underway with Tassie Spirit hosting reigning champions Victorian Fury in a Friday night fixture at Hobart’s Aurora Stadium.

Spirit will then take on Storm and Sting over the weekend, which will be the final regular season matches for all three teams.

Week Four Fixtures

Tassie Spirit v Victorian Fury
Friday 10 July, 6.00pm (AEST)
Aurora Stadium, Hobart

Netball NSW Waratahs v Canberra Darters
Saturday 11 July, 3.00pm (AEST)
Netball Central, Sydney Olympic Park

BurtonPhotography-1938479551Tassie Spirit v Territory Storm
Saturday 11 July, 4.00pm (AEST)
Aurora Stadium, Hobart

Southern Force v Western Sting
Saturday 11 July, 6.00pm (AEST)
Aurora Stadium, Hobart

Tassie Spirit v Western Sting
Sunday 12 July, 10.00am (AEST)
Aurora Stadium, Hobart

Southern Force v Territory Storm
Sunday 12 July, 12.00pm (AEST)
Aurora Stadium, Hobart