Cassar’s 46 ends Tigers’ finals hope

Yarrawonga’s Bridget Cassar was in top form against Albury. High flyers: Yarrawonga’s Kaitlyn Cummins soars up to intercept the ball over Albury’s Rhian Hohnberg during the Pigeons win yesterday. Pictures: JOHN RUSSELL

AN outstanding 46 goals from Yarrawonga’s Bridget Cassar has denied Albury a spot in the Ovens & Murray netball finals.

The Tigers needed to win to make the play-offs but a fired-up Pigeons never let them in the contest, winning 55-46.

Albury coach Jenny Jones was left to rue some early season lapses and admire the prowess of the Yarrawonga sharp shooter.

“They were obviously smarting from three losses in a row and came out like a top-five team looking to carry some winning form into the finals,” she said.

“We tried hard for four quarters but they had nine contributors and in the end were too good.

“Cassar is very strong and a wonderful shooter but she gets plenty of help with the way the ball comes into her.

“Our season boiled down to those games we lost early in the year that we were probably entitled to win, including a game against the Hoppers.

“Those four points come back to haunt you at the end of the year.”

The Hoppers ended up making the finals ahead of Albury with a win over Raiders but with a slightly inferior percentage.

Jones was resigned to looking towards next year.

“We had a number of changes this year and I think we will be an even better team next year,” she said.

“Justine Willis moved from the wing to the centre role, Rhian Hohnberg stepped up from B grade and Brigetta Hart locked down her role as goalkeeper.

“Those three really blended well with the other A graders and that can only be a positive for next year.

“Our percentage was the fifth best but that doesn’t get you into the finals.”

Lavington finished on top of the ladder and will sit out the first week of finals.

North Albury will face a knockout semi against Rovers, while Wodonga and Yarrawonga will fight it out for the right to play for a spot in the grand final the following week.

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