Sport

Echuca United left with one box to tick in 2019

By Brayden May

ECHUCA United has done just about everything to prove it belongs on the court with the Moama juggernaut this weekend.

The Eagles beat minor premiers Rumbalara by one goal - for the second time this season - to book their place in the Murray Netball League grand final.

And it wasn't without drama.

After racing out of the blocks to a five-goal lead at quarter-time, United was forced to come from five goals down in the last three minutes of the game to secure the win with Rumba's goal shooter missing a shot after the siren.

United coach Lisa Drysdale said she couldn't have been prouder of her side's performance.

“The ball must have felt like a lead balloon when the siren went and she had the shot," she said.

“We kept fighting all day and to peg Rumba back in the last few minutes took absolutely every bit of energy we had left.

“I do feel sorry for the Rumba girl because she played an amazing game as a 16-year-old; she certainly got them back in the game when she came on in the second quarter.

"I'm really proud of how we managed to wrestle back the momentum and it will certainly give us a lot of confidence heading into next week."

When Drysdale was announced as United's new A grade coach last year, she made it clear she wanted to take it up to Moama.

But even she has to pinch herself when she realises how far her team has come.

“You always hope to come with hopes and dreams but to actually be able to pull it off is an amazing feeling," she said.

“Reaching agrand final is a reward for all the commitment we’ve put in as a team this year. But with still got one more massive job ahead of us.

 “We’re a team with five mothers and two paramedics so it takes a lot of organisation for us to play."

While United know there is plenty of work to do to overcome Moama for the first time this season, Drysdale said her players should be embracing the challenge.

“Grand finals don’t come around often so we should be cherishing what we have in front of us," he said.

“A few of us have played in grand finals before so we’ll be trying to pass on all of the experience to the girls who are playing in their first.

"It's an exciting time for the club and we're not going to be leaving anything out on the court."

Saturday's grand final will take place at Finley.