UNAVAILABLE: Flames wing attack Gabby Jones will be unavailable for the Firebirds' final this week, meaning they must win if she is to play again this season.
UNAVAILABLE: Flames wing attack Gabby Jones will be unavailable for the Firebirds' final this week, meaning they must win if she is to play again this season. Alistair Brightman

Flames, Cosmos, to battle in elimination netball final

GABBY Jones will be supporting her Flames Firebirds' Hervey Bay Netball Association finals campaign from afar.

The wing attack is the only Firebird unavailable for Saturday's elimination final against Cosmos Kryptonites.

It means she will only play again this season if Flames beat Kryptonites, something coach Melissa Champney said would act as extra motivation for her team.

"Hopefully we can get the win for her,” Champney said.

"We'll be able to cover the position but she, like the rest of the girls, is a huge part of our team.”

Flames have history on its side, having won two of the three games between the teams this season.

The only issue possibly facing the Firebirds is the time since the team's last triumph. Flames have not won since the 12th-round clash with their Division 1 elimination final opponents (they won 53-25).

Since then, Flames fell to minor premiers Breakaways, forfeited its fixture against Cosmos Eclipse, lost to Bullets then had a last-round bye.

The key, according to Champney, is how her players counter Kryptonites' speed at moving the ball.

"They're very good at getting the ball to their end,” Champney said. "It's reading the play. Some have it, some don't. Most of our team can do it but it's about being quick enough to get in front of the ball.

I think they'll do really well. They'll pull together and put in a really good effort.”

Breakaways will face Bullets Nubees in the major semi final at 2pm.

The winner will directly qualify for the grand final, with the lose to face either Flames or Kryptonites, who will play at 3.30pm.



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