THEY haven't won the Tracey Gunson Shield in four years and are facing the defending champions, but Mater Dei Catholic will go into next week's final as favourites after a clinical 42-30 semi final win over Kildare Catholic College on Tuesday.
Boasting a team littered with representative players, Mater Dei's smooth attack and their ability to force turnovers set up a 24-13 half-time lead.
Kildare cleaned up their attack in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to eight, but Mater Dei held firm to book their place in next Tuesday's decider against The Riverina Anglican College.
NSW under-17 train-on player Ava Moller and Abbey Reinhold were unstoppable in the shooting circle, while Ash Reynoldson and Harriet Priest were strong in defence.
Mater Dei hasn't won the shield since 2018, the last triumph in a five year winning streak.
Moller said the fact many players are in year 12 makes it more important to end the drought next week.
"This is my first year playing, but for the girls in year 12 it would be so good for them," she said.
"We definitely want to get it done, there's a lot of pressure but I think we can do it.
"We started really strong (in the semi). We got away and they came back a bit (in the third quarter), but we held our nerve.
TRAC booked their place with a comfortable 42-14 semi win over Kooringal High School.
The school won their first-ever Tracey Gunson Shield title last year, and captain Sarah Croker feels they're capable of an upset.
"Hopefully we can take them on. They got us last time (in qualifying rounds) but we didn't have our best game, and I think we've improved.
"We need to start strong and hold the intensity for the full four quarters."
Croker will be one of the TRAC defenders charged with containing Reinhold and Moller.
"I've played with Ava and Abbey and you just have to hold them out of the circle as much as possible and hope for the best.
"There is (less pressure after winning last year), that was our first one but hopefully we can go again this year."
Kildare and TRAC will meet in the junior final after they secured wins over Wagga High (18-14) and Mater Dei (35-25) respectively.
The junior final will be held this Tuesday from 4.15pm, with the senior final to follow at 5pm.
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