Top four gear up for intense finals series

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Saints' Shona Haynes and Greenbacks' Sanchez Augustine fight for the ball while Katherine Simson attempts a tackle.
Camera IconSaints' Shona Haynes and Greenbacks' Sanchez Augustine fight for the ball while Katherine Simson attempts a tackle. Credit: Carly Laden

As the 2019 WKFL Women’s home-and-away season drew to a close, the top four sides begin preparations to battle it out for the premiership in a three-week finals series.

Cable Beach Greenbacks, Saints, Derby Tigers and Looma Lady Eagles will all face off in the semi-finals. The Greenbacks and Tigers were given a second chance to make the grand final via the preliminary final, given their top-two finish on the ladder.

Here is an in-depth look at each side’s chances heading into what is shaping up as an intense finals series.

Cable Beach Greenbacks

Reigning premiers Cable Beach Greenbacks came into the 2019 season guns blazing in a bid to make it back-to-back premierships.

The Greenbacks proved themselves as top contenders having won nine out of their 12 matches, losing only to Derby Tigers, newcomers Broome Bulls and Saints within the season’s first half.

Aside from their three-week losing streak, the Greenbacks returned to their dominant form with a seven-game winning streak, with an average margin of 53 points.

Consistently dominant displays from Skye Jamieson, Sanchez Augustine, Lani Pigram, Rebecca Boni and Leanne Gubbins could give the Greenbacks the edge.

Derby Tigers

Like the Greenbacks, the Derby Tigers have enjoyed a strong season with plenty of big-margin wins to boot.

Despite a couple of losses and rearrangements throughout the season, the Tigers held strong to record nine wins and roar into second place on the ladder.

Derby Tigers' Serena Francis tries to fend off Bombers' Gordean Winton.
Camera IconDerby Tigers' Serena Francis tries to fend off Bombers' Gordean Winton. Credit: Pictures: Carly Laden, Carly Laden

Stand-out players such as Melissa Brinker, Stacey Bedford, Brooke Adam, Tiani Lockyer and Sarah Clapin will be sure to rally the Tigers to potentially dominate in the finals. The Tigers will look to get some sweet revenge after falling short against Cable Beach in the 2018 Grand Final.

Saints

The Saints had shown dominance throughout the home-and-away season, having emerged as early frontrunners by keeping their competition to one goal or less during the early rounds.

Although there were a few slip-ups along the way, Saints proved why they deserved to be a finals contender time and time again with an 8-3-1 record.

With Denika Hansen, Sophira Buaneye, Shona Haynes, Abbie Virgo and Helen Ockerby on the field, the Saints are sure to bring the fight in the finals.

Saints reached the semi finals in 2018 but fell short to the Derby Tigers in an elimination semifinal.

Looma Lady Eagles

The Looma Lady Eagles had certainly experienced a rollercoaster season.

Despite travelling hundreds of kilometres between games and having several matches be rescheduled, the Lady Eagles managed to surpass the Broome Bulls and record seven wins.

Looma Lady Eagles' Darliah Killer.
Camera IconLooma Lady Eagles' Darliah Killer. Credit: Carly Laden

Consistently quick players Kate Ditchburn, Darliah Killer, Kieesha Rogers, Latifa Banjo and Lyla Pindan could see the Lady Eagles outlast the competition with their speed.

Last year, the Looma Lady Eagles fell short of making the grand final after losing to the Derby Tigers in the preliminary final.

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