Semi final action begins in Maitland A-grade netball on Saturday as HVE Transport begins its title defence taking on George Tavern in the elimination final.
George Tavern and HVE Transport finished the regular season third and fourth respectively with HVE Transport getting the better of the teams clashes throughout the year.
HVE Transport won the round four encounter 40-39 before backing up to claim a 30-26 victory in round 11.
However, injured George Tavern captain Lorraine Keith denies HVE Transport are her team’s bogey side and the close defeats are indicative of the extremely close competition in 2012.
“Not really (our bogey side) I think it just shows how close the comp is,” Keith said.
“If anything we’ve learnt from those close defeats so hopefully it’s our turn on Saturday.”
Opposing captain Bec Blewett agreed with Keith’s assessment.
“We’re beaten them twice but that doesn’t mean anything going into the semis,” Blewett said.
“We always have a good game against them and it was the same situation last season when they beat us twice but then we beat them in the semi.
“We’ve had a good season and it all comes down to this now.”
Both skippers said their teams would need to concentrate on their own games when they meet on Saturday, without wanting to give too much away.
“We need to play our game and not get tied up into their game,” Keith said.
“They play a different way to us so we need to stick with what we do well.”
“We need to focus on our game and not worry about what they’re doing,” Blewett said.
“In saying that we’re probably a little bit worried about their shooting, Emily Keith and Amy Griffiths are probably the strongest on their team.”
George Tavern have had a tough run home, winning just one of their last four games. It included a final round draw with second placed Hano’s HVE and defeats to minor premiers Hills Solicitors and their opponents on Saturday.
“We certainly had a hard run in but we knew all along sitting in second we were almost in a false position with some tough games to finish,” Keith said.
“We’re level headed about it but come Saturday we want to win just as much and those tough games probably helped us because we had to fight hard.”
Both teams are expecting to be unchanged from last week, with Keith the George Tavern’s only absentee with a season ending achillis injury suffered early in the year.