Gippsland Times |MAFFRA and Sale netball supporters had plenty to cheer about on Saturday, when the three high standard Gippsland League senior matches went right down to the wire in unseasonably warm weather.
The A grade match was a nail biter, with Sale leading 11-10 at the first change, and then five up at half-time, before Maffra fought back to lead 29-28 at three-quarter-time.
In the final quarter, the match soared to another level. The lead changed several times, turning into a shoot-out, as Maffra held on to win 42-39.
Maffra's Emma Allman, at the tender age of 15, stood out in centre court in her first A grade match, providing a consistent and quick option to defenders during turnovers.
Invaluable in both A grade and under 17s, Allman was rewarded with the Pam Birss Memorial Medal in the clubrooms post match.
The B grade match was similarly close, with Maffra leading 9-7 a the first change, before Sale fought back to lead 18-16 at half-time. The Magpies swooped to win the match 45-39.
C grade was another thriller. Maffra led by four goals at half-time, but in the second half Sale scored nine goals to six, but Maffra pushed ahead to win 23-22.
The Maffra under 17 team, which was under 15 premier last season, unfurled its pennant then began with a brilliant first quarter, scoring 14 goals to five, before convincingly winning 52-37.
The Maffra girls have an amazing record, winning premierships first at under 13 level, then under 15, and current form indicates they will complete the trifecta.
In the under 15 grade, most of the Sale squad was part of the under 13 back-to-back premiership teams, and also began with an impressive win, 54-24.
The Maffra under 13 team had to forfeit its match as most of the team was playing in the country Victoria basketball championships.
Elsewhere in A grade matches, Leongatha defeated Bairnsdale 52-22, Morwell and 2016 premier Drouin drew 42-42, Warragul narrowly defeated Moe 49-45, and Wonthaggi was beaten by Traralgon 42-35.