TWO of Camperdown’s junior netball sides will fly the flag for the club in this year’s Hampden league finals series.
The 17 and under and 13 and under netballers will both continue their quests for premiership glory, with the 17s starting tomorrow and the 13s next week.
The 17 and under side finished third on the ladder with 12 wins, one draw and five losses and will take on North Warrnambool at Cobden in the qualifying final.
The Magpies have enjoyed a mostly consistent season and have been capable of defeating most side’s this year with the exception of the top two South Warrnambool and North and fifth placed Hamilton.
They two games against North thus far have seen the Eagles claim 40-34 (round three) and 51-32 (round 12) victories, with Camperdown needing to produce a big performance tomorrow to keep their double chance hopes alive.
The 13 and under girls have been the competition’s pacesetter across the home and away rounds, winning 17 of the 18 matches.
The Magpies had the minor premiership sewn up after round 16 and were unbeaten to that stage of the season before coming unstuck against Cobden in round 17.
Camperdown quickly recovered with a victory against Port Fairy and will have this weekend off to prepare for the second semi-final.
They will play the winner of Hamilton and Koroit, but in unlucky circumstances will have to travel two hours to Portland to play that match.
However, the Magpies will have plenty of motivation to offset the trip with a grand final berth on the line and will be looking to continue their winning ways when they take to the court.
Premiership pursuit to begin in earnest
CAMPERDOWN’S senior football side will be looking to break a 12 year drought when they take to the field in the qualifying final against Port Fairy tomorrow.
The Magpies, who last won a final in 2006, finished this season in third position with 12 wins from 18 games.
Senior coach Phil Carse was pleased with how the season unfolded, after his side was written off well before a ball was kicked and is now setting its sights on “trying to achieve something this September”.
“Obviously it’s been really pleasing with the development and improvement shown by the boys this season,” he said.
“Externally, not too many people give us a chance but internally, we’ve always been pretty confident with the group that we’ve had
“We’re playing a much better defensive game and we’re harder to score against and we’ve shown we can play both styles of footy, whether it’s contested or out in the open.
“Overall, it’s been a pleasing year.”
The Magpies made a strong start to the season, winning their first five games before falling to Koroit.
They rebounded quickly with wins over Portland, Port Fairy and Cobden before again coming unstuck, this time to Terang Mortlake.
Another loss to Warrnambool followed, before the Magpies narrowly defeated North Warrnambool.
Camperdown then lost their next three matches to Hamilton Kangaroos, South Warrnambool and Koroit, with their hopes of a top three spot in danger.
However, wins against Portland, Cobden and Port Fairy ensured the Magpies finished in the top three, securing a vital double chance opportunity.
Camperdown used 29 players across the season, but the depth within the club helped as injuries impacted the side across the year.
“We started really well and had some courageous wins early that gave us some belief,” Carse said.
“We then had that lull in the middle, but to the boys credit they worked hard over that period and got the rewards and got a bit of form up heading into September.”
Camperdown will front up against Port Fairy tomorrow just seven days after defeating the Seagulls by 69 points.
It was the second time the Magpies had defeated the side this season, having won their earlier encounter in round nine by 10 points.
“Port Fairy is obviously a very good side, they’ve been a top three side the past three seasons and their top end talent is as good as anyone’s in the league,” Carse said.
“We know we’ll have to play our best on Saturday to beat them.”
The match will start at 2.10pm at Cobden Recreation Reserve.