Netball: South needs win to help final chance

Things are starting to get desperate for South as it faces what is almost a must-win game in its quest to reach the final of the national league.

The southern side will play competition leader Northern directly after the Steel's match against the Firebirds at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin tomorrow afternoon.

South sits third on the competition ladder but a congested table means four of the five sides are still in the running to reach the championship final in Auckland on June 26.

Northern can secure a spot in the top two with a win in its final game tomorrow but, mathematically at least, can still miss out on a finals spot if it loses and other results do not go its way.

For South, a loss tomorrow could spell the end of its finals aspirations.

It would stay alive in the competition if Central lost to Waikato-Bay of Plenty on Sunday, but would be out of the running if Central won the match.

In that case, Central and Northern would contest the final.

The southern side has recorded three wins from its six matches so far this season, but things could have easily been much better.

It has lost two matches by one goal, firstly against Mainland in Invercargill in round three, then against Central in Wellington in round six.

It also lost by just three goals to Waikato-Bay of Plenty two rounds ago, before turning around its earlier result against Mainland to beat the side 64-37 last week.

South was boosted by the inclusion of Steel player Stacey Peeters for last week's match, and the midcourter could again be available for tomorrow's game if she does not play a significant part for the Steel.

However, like fellow Steel player Brooke Leaver, she has only appeared once in the national league this season.

Leaver played in the side's 48-45 loss to Waikato-Bay of Plenty two weeks ago, shooting five from nine as well as contributing 17 feeds and collecting 17 centre passes as she played some of the game at wing attack.

Peeters contributed one intercept and two deflections in the game against Mainland.

The last time the sides met was in round one in Invercargill, when South won 46-43.

The Steel will play in front of another sellout crowd when it takes on the defending champion Firebirds tomorrow.

Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said the match had sold out by yesterday afternoon.

Tickets were snapped up faster than they were for the match against the Mystics in Dunedin two weeks ago.

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