Navarre march into preliminary final clash

The Grasshoppers grabbed their preliminary final berth and a week off, with an 18 points win over Natte Bealiba in their qualifying final clash on Saturday.

The Grasshoppers grabbed their preliminary final berth and a week off, with an 18 points win over Natte Bealiba in their qualifying final clash on Saturday.

NAVARRE have marched straight into the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League's preliminary final round.

The Grasshoppers grabbed their preliminary final berth and a week off, with an 18 points win over Natte Bealiba in their qualifying final clash on Saturday.

According to Navarre captain Louis Hannett the week off will be welcomed.

"It was a tough day and there were some tired legs after the game, so a week off will be a bonus," he said.

Navarre did open the better of the two teams and led by 16 points at the first break.

"We opened strongly and should have been further ahead on the scoreboard, but we missed some easy opportunities early," Hannett said.

Navarre, with their onball brigade of Hannett, Josh Driscoll and Daniel Reading leading the way, managed to extend this lead to 25 points at half time.

The third term was a real struggle, with Navarre being able to nullify any charges Natte created and the three quarter time lead for Navarre remained at 25 points.

With the match slipping away, Natte stepped up a gear early in the final term and did eat their way into the Grasshoppers lead, but Navarre steadied and in the end held onto an 18 points victory.

Experienced finals campaigner Ben Scott was at his best. Starting forward and moving through the midfield, he finished off a polished display with four goals.

Navarre went into the qualifying final knowing they had to hold the strong Natte midfield. Hannett, Josh Driscoll and Reading did just that and they were key players in keeping Navarre ahead on the scoreboard throughout the match.

Ash Driscoll was again a key up forward and he finished with three goals.

In defence Jayden Fowkes and Matt Newton held strong and their rebounds created a number of scoring opportunities for Navarre.

Hannett said Navarre were fortunate to escape the qualifying final without any injury worries.

"We still need to improve in a number of areas as we prepare for the preliminary final," Hannett said.

The qualifying final win sees Navarre continue its impressive undefeated run in the competition this season.

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