It was a nervous few minutes for Diggers Rest after its final Riddell District Netball League match of the regular season on Saturday.
Having beaten Sunbury Kangaroos, which they needed to do, the Burras had to wait for the results of the Lancefield versus Romsey game to know whether they had made it to finals.
The news came through not long after the game had finished – the Redbacks defeating the Tigers by one goal – which meant the Burras would finish in sixth, and the last, finals spot.
Burras’ coach Amy Carroll said everyone was relieved to have made the finals.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Everyone was very happy and excited after yesterday.
“It was a nervous few moments, and a few of the girls knew players from both teams, so they were on the phones straight away. It was a big relief.
“It’s nice to play finals, and the game that we won against Macedon proved to be vital.”
On Saturday, a win against the Kangaroos was never in doubt, and the Burras were triumphant 75-21.
Carroll scored 41 goals, while Meredith Ball was also busy in the ring, with 31 goals.
After putting together an almost all-new team in the off season, Carroll said she knew it was going to take time for players to gel, despite outside expectations.
“It has taken a whole year to get the team to gel,” she said. “Jena [Baboth] and Tayla [Behan] were away for a number of weeks.
“But it’s nice to have a full squad again.
“This is a good start leading into next year when we will be an even better side.”
As well as Baboth and Behan coming back into the side, fill-ins Ball and Kristy Blackmore have qualified for finals, which adds even more depth to the squad.
Carroll knows they have a tough run ahead of them.
Their last match against a finals’ side, Riddell, was disappointing, she said.
“I think our girls need to realise they are good enough against the top teams, and can’t be intimated.”
The Burras will play Rupertswood in an elimination final on Sunday at Woodend’s Gilbert Gordon Oval.
“It was a good match the last time we played,” Carroll said.
“I don’t think the score reflected the match.
“I think we match up well against them.”
Melton Centrals will play Romsey in the other elimination final.
Centrals enter the match on the back of a 57-28 win against Broadford on Saturday.
With a side looking closer to their full line up, the Centrals controlled the game from the opening quarter.
Vanessa Seddon (39 goals) was best on court with her shooting partner, Rebecca Morabito, also dangerous.