The last time Dunolly and Natte Bealiba met, they drew, making this weekend’s first elimination final the ultimate tie-breaker with dire consequences.
Despite the proven equality of the two sides, one winner and one loser must be crowned this weekend — even if it boils down to extra time, with the victor advancing through to semi finals.
The 40-all round 13 draw with Natte was a tremendous effort for the Eagles, who at that time were an outside chance for finals after a tough run saw them drop several games in a row.
That rough patch coincided with the absence of both coach Ash McClelland and Ash Lierich but was largely remedied with Lierich’s return and saw the Eagles just scrape into finals due to percentage.
The side has now lost Lierich’s defensive partner in crime Demcy Gibbs in recent weeks due to injury, which is a massive blow for this weekend considering Gibbs was named in the best against Natte.
The Swans have dropped just four games this season, one each to Trentham and Avoca and two to Carisbrook but have toppled other finals sides, Newstead, Lexton and even fourth-placed Harcourt, proving their ability to advance through finals.
During the draw, Natte defenders Anna Bucknall and Naomi Medlyn were the team’s saving grace, while Jess White fought hard at the other end of the court to put up enough goals to keep the Swans afloat.
For more on this story see Page 36 of The Advertiser, Friday, August 23