Netball: Mission Mannas into Netball Super League grand final

Mission Mannas co-captain Charmaine Soh in action against the Blaze Dolphins at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.
Mission Mannas co-captain Charmaine Soh in action against the Blaze Dolphins at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NETBALL SINGAPORE

The Mission Mannas, seeking to win back-to-back championships, squeaked into the M1 Netball Super League grand final after beating the Blaze Dolphins 46-45 in yesterday's thrilling semi-final at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

Mannas co-captain and goal shooter Charmaine Soh said: "We feel ecstatic to qualify for the grand final but there is definitely a lot more for us to work on."

She was referring to how her team had got off to a flyer when they led 16-10 in the first quarter, but "complicated things" as the Dolphins battled their way back into the game. Both teams had won one game apiece in their previous encounters this season.

Even though the Mannas held a 42-38 lead in the final quarter, the Dolphins were able to chip away the deficit and even pulled ahead 45-44 with 2min 09sec to play.

However, with one minute to go and the scores tied at 45-45, goal defence Shina Teo made a crucial interception for the Mannas and goal attack Zhang Ailin nailed the winning basket with 18 seconds left.

Mannas co-captain and wing defence Nurul Baizura said: " What is crucial for us is that we stick to our game plan, minimise unnecessary errors and to also prepare ourselves with a strong mental fortitude for the grand final where we just have to focus on our own play and ensure that the processes are well executed."

All is not lost for the Dolphins as they will take on the Sneakers Stingrays in the preliminary final at Toa Payoh Sports Hall today at 3pm after Fier Orcas face SRC Barracudas in the fifth/sixth play-off.

The winners take on the Mannas, who were also the 2014 champions, in the grand final on Saturday at the same venue at 2pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Mannas hold on, make NSL grand final'. Print Edition | Subscribe