Familiar foes face off in A grade grand final

Emily O’Leary is hoping some inside knowledge can help the Magpies end their premiership drought.

READY FOR BATTLE: The Rock-Yerong Creek's Emily O'Leary and North Wagga's Kaitlin Staines shape up ahead of the A grade netball grand final on Saturday. Picture: Les Smith

READY FOR BATTLE: The Rock-Yerong Creek's Emily O'Leary and North Wagga's Kaitlin Staines shape up ahead of the A grade netball grand final on Saturday. Picture: Les Smith

The Rock-Yerong Creek coach, her sister Sarah and former premiership-winning coach Brittany Fitzsimmons will tackle their former club North Wagga in the A grade netball grand final.

The trio have returned to their junior club over the past two seasons.

Their return has coincided in the Magpies rise as they hunt for their first premiership since 2005.

While she might know plenty about her opposition, O’Leary is taking a very professional approach ahead of the big game on Saturday.

“We are all out there to do a job and I think at the end of the day we are friends when you walk off the court,” O’Leary said.

“I’ve got my team’s best interests and have worked with them all season.

“Our end goal is to win.”

North Wagga were the first team into the decider, after beating TRYC in the second semi-final a fortnight ago.

The teams had one win each in the regular season and Saints goal attack Kaitlin Staines believes the team is excited for another chance at a premiership.

“We are really excited to go into the grand final on Saturday,” Staines said.

“Over the court we match up pretty evenly with height so we are going to go out, give it our all and see how it goes.”

Staines thought winning the most recent clash gives them plenty of confidence, but expects the Magpies will be better for the return of Ella Finemore.

North Wagga scored grand final wins over CSU in both 2014 and 2015 before falling short against the Bushsows last season.

While Staines is a relative newcomer to the team, she doesn’t believe last year’s loss is too much of a factor coming into another grand final.

“It has (been spoken about a bit), but I don’t think it is worrying our players at all,” she said.

“We have moved on from that and are going to give it our all.”

Both players highlighted North Wagga goal shooter Jordan Barrett as the one to watch in the grand final.

With the netballers flying the flag this season, O’Leary expects it will be a big day for TRYC.

“It is a massive thing for the club and I think everyone is really excited,” she said.

“Especially as our boys didn’t go as well this year so the pressure is a little bit more on us, but it is good.”

The Magpies also face Northern Jets in the B grade final.

The Jets also qualified in the A Reserve decider, where they take on close rival Barellan,

The Two Blues are also chasing success in C grade against Temora.