It's crunch time in Illawarra netball

Corrimal RSL cadets player Tara Martin in action against West Titans last Saturday during a 28-28 draw. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Corrimal RSL cadets player Tara Martin in action against West Titans last Saturday during a 28-28 draw. Picture: ROBERT PEET

NETBALL

SMJ can keep in the hunt for a vital top-two spot by achieving the second leg of a Woonona double in round 12 of the Premier League.

The former Corrimal juniors scored a convincing 54-21 victory over Woonona McDonald's last weekend to remain level pegging with Brindles on the ladder.

The pair are fighting it out with ladder-leaders Vipers for the top two positions, which gives a team two bites at the finals cherry.

But with Vipers and Brindles facing off this weekend, a win from SMJ against Woonona WBRSL could give them the advantage over their rivals and training partners.

SMJ coach Kerry Jones is expecting a hard-fought encounter.

"They have some great players in there and their shooting end is quite tall so we will see how we go with that," she said.

"We have been training very hard. I think as long as we come to the court ready to play - don't underestimate anyone - and just stick to your plan we will be OK."

Jones will be without shooter Abby McFadden for rest of the year, due to a knee injury. In her absence, SMJ welcomed Shay Wilkinson into the shooter's role for the win against Woonona McDonalds.

"Shay stepped up and all the girls worked really hard," Jones said.

"They just keep chasing the ball. If there was a loose ball, they chased it.

"Woonona is a good team as well but we just seemed to get on top of them and they couldn't catch us."

The win guaranteed SMJ a spot in this season's finals.

"We were aiming for the top four and we look to have done that now," Jones said.

"[It's the] First year in for the girls, so we are happy."

With matches against Brindles and Vipers as the final two rounds of the season, the race for the top two is set to continue.

Meanwhile, Corrimal RSL Cadets maintained their position in the top-four with a 28-28 draw with fifth-placed Wests Titans.

Vipers defeated Dapto Storm 59-34 and Brindles dominated Woonona WBRSL 70-38.

ROUND 12

Saturday, Berkeley Stadium

Dapto Storm v Corrimal RSL Cadets, 1.30pm

Woonona WBRSL v SMJ, 1.30pm

Wests Titans v Woonona McDonald’s, 3pm


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