Ipswich Flyers netballer Emilie McInally is playing a vital leadership role preparing for the finals.
Ipswich Flyers netballer Emilie McInally is playing a vital leadership role preparing for the finals.

Valuable lesson: Flyers refocus for grand final bid

AS defending premiers, the Ipswich Flyers had more to gain from their latest local derby loss to the Goodna Sapphires.

The unbeaten Sapphires are frontrunners to win this year's Queensland Premier League (QPL) SEQ Cup grand final having lost to the Flyers in last year's title decider.

However, senior Flyers player Emilie McInally was far from shattered about her team's 44-35 defeat.

With finals starting after a short break, the fourth-placed Flyers are still well positioned to make a late charge defending their deserved 2019 netball crown.

"I thought it was a great game, very competitive from both sides,'' McInally said.

"Even though we didn't walk away with the win, we felt proud about our performance.

"We didn't let them run away with it.''

The long-serving, loyal Ipswich netballer said her side benefited from facing the pacesetters before their first finals game against fifth-placed QUT on October 22.

"Definitely always a learning opportunity in any game,'' the goal attack, occasional wing attack said.

"We walked away with some fine tuning to do.''

Emilie McInally
Emilie McInally

Welcoming a short break, McInally was confident the Flyers were peaking at the right time.

Without a match this week, the Ipswich team had a training game against the Queensland Suns mixed team on Monday night, providing a good hitout.

"I could always be fitter but I'm happy with how I'm working with my teammates,'' she said.

"As a part of the leadership team I think my main role has been to lead by example with a positive attitude.''

As the Flyers refocus for the finals, McInally has fond recollections of last year's grand final achievement.

"Just a very happy memory and also relief that we had done what we had planned,'' she said.

Being one of the competition's most experienced players, McInally has taken the delayed QPL start and match adjustments due to COVID in her stride.

"The QPL has changed its format so many times over the last few years so to be honest it hasn't been that much of challenge,'' she said.

"At the moment QPL has been the only netball and sport I've played all year so really only playing that and not committing to other teams. Coaching and occasionally umpiring has been the relaxing bit.''

STATE OF PLAY

QPL SEQ Cup: 1st elimination final - October 22 - Ipswich Flyers v QUT at Queensland State Netball Centre.

The Goodna Sapphires contest the first semi-final against Western Districts on October 30.

The grand final is on November 13.