Ipswich Flyers netball Liz Hales.
Ipswich Flyers netball Liz Hales. Kate Czerny

Ipswich team's time to fly high

IPSWICH Flyers co-captain Liz Hales summed it up perfectly as her team attempts to ambush competition leaders Western Districts in Thursday night's SEQ Challenge semi-final.

"We know how to win,'' Hales said preparing for the Division 1 top two showdown at the State Netball Centre.

"We just need to make sure that we don't get ahead of ourselves. And play to the best of our ability.''

Hales and co-captain Emilie McInally have enjoyed a number of grand final successes with the Flyers over the past decade.

However, both leaders are bracing for a battle against the undefeated Western Districts side.

"They have always been the tough one in most years actually,'' goal shooter Hales said.

"We really do have to play our game. Sometimes, the last couple of weeks, our connections haven't quite been there and I think that's something that is going to be really important.''

McInally said a focus of Monday night's training session was trying to match the mid-court speed of their opponents.

"Everybody is fit and healthy, ready to go,'' she said.

Although the Flyers lost last weekend's final round game 52-51 to Downey Park, McInally was far from concerned.

"We just didn't really play our best,'' she said. "We might have taken it a little bit too lightly or thinking a little bit too far ahead of what we have to do in the semi-finals.''

However, McInally, Hales and other seasoned Flyers regulars love finals netball.

"Going into the finals, we have got quite a lot of finals experience behind us,'' Hales said. "We enjoy these games.''

The winner of Thursday night's game advances directly to the grand final. The loser has to play the winner of Thursday night's second semi-final between Logan and Southport for another chance to reach the championship decider.

McInally has another reason to fire up tomorrow night.

She's disappointed after her minor premiership-winning club side Aztecs had its grand final hopes ruined by the rain last Saturday.

Rebels were declared winners after leading 30-18 when heavy rain fell in the third quarter.

Hales didn't play in the grand final. However, most of the other Flyers players were split between the two Division 1 Ipswich grand finalists.

Joining McInally in the Aztecs side were Bridget Cumming, Nicole Grant, Tahlia Vandenberg and Melissa Beutel.

The winning Rebels team included Flyers representatives Tara Bramwell, player of the final Erin Ellis and Tara Rosin.

Game day

SEQ Challenge Open Women's Division 1 semi-final: Thursday (6.30pm) - Ipswich Flyers v Western Districts at State Netball Centre.



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