Natasha Cross is a key player for Across The Waves Gold.
Natasha Cross is a key player for Across The Waves Gold. Mike Knott

Waves looking for redemption

UNDEFEATED and raging hot favourites for the premiership heading into semi-finals, you can’t help but feel a sense of déjÀ vu about Across The Waves Gold.

Their well-documented final’s loss to Alloway Purple last season was one of the biggest upsets in history at Daph Geddes Park, but Gold coach Sandy Baker assures supporters that it will not happen again.

“We’re in the same position as last year really,” she said.

“We’ve had the wood on every team this year, but losing Crossy (Natasha Cross) hurt us and we couldn’t quite do it.”

Purple is out of the equation this year and their opponents this week, Blazers, shape as their most likely rivals for the crown.

“We’ve managed them pretty comfortably all year, but they are a good team and, if they all fire, it will be a challenge for us.”

A win tomorrow puts the side through to the decider, something the Waves’ girls know much more about than Blazers.

“Our experience and our skill is what will win it for us,” Baker said.

“But Blazers are preparing themselves well and they have some really good talent in that team.”

Jaizdon Corrigan — a late call up to the Thundercats this season — has proved difficult to contain on the score sheet.

Baker, though, says their rock solid defence is more than ready.

“They’ve been brilliant and that’s our foundation we build from.”

Key central figure Natasha Cross has been tipped to lead the way, while utility Carly McCann is struggling to regain fitness after just returning from a European holiday.

“She isn’t too well at the moment, but we might play her for a quarter and see how she pulls up.

“Losing Crossy last year really hurt us because she is the glue in the centre for us,” she said.

“But we’ve been managing to win even when we are below strength, which has been very encouraging for me this year.”

A return to form by Hervey Bay has them in good stead to make a move in the finals series this year.

They beat Alloway Blue last weekend and face them again in the elimination semi-final.

Blue’s season was cut short by their clubmates Alloway Purple last year and they too will feel there’s some unfinished business that needs to be attended to.

Meanwhile, members of the Wide Bay Ergon Energy Netball Academy will go to Kingaroy this weekend to receive specialist training from former Australia and World Championship coach Jill McIntosh.

McIntosh will provide hands-on coaching to the Wide Bay region’s most promising talent in her role as special counsellor for the Ergon Energy Netball Academies.

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