TOMS TRIO: South Mildura sisters Rhianna, Demi and Maddy Toms will take to the court together in tomorrow’s A Grade netball grand final against Merbein. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
YOU don’t need Whoopie Goldberg to provide a quality sister act.
South Mildura has one of their own in A Grade netball trio Maddy, Rhianna and Demi Toms. The sisters have been lighting it up in the Sunraysia Football and Netball League (SFNL) this year and will take to the court together against Merbein in the grand final tomorrow.
The Toms girls are loyal South players, all having come through the junior netball program. Season 2018 marks the first time Wing Defence Maddy, 21, Wing Attack Rhianna, 20 and Goal Attack Demi, 18, have regularly played in the same side.
South have been regular finals competitors but are aiming for their first flag since 2010.
After debuting in the A Grade side in 2012, Maddy was bestowed the honour of being captain in 2018.
She hopes to lead her side to premiership glory after they were upset by Irymple in last year’s decider.
“Merbein is a side that can play great netball and we know we can’t take them lightly,” she said.
“We’ve beaten them both times this year but the last one was only a goal, so we’re not going to take this for granted. We found the same thing happened last year, we beat Irymple twice during the season but lost the grand final.
“Losing last year hurt and we’ve taken a lot out of that.”
The Toms girls all said it had been fun playing alongside each other this year, and they connect well on the court.
“Playing with your sisters has a lot of perks, you know how each other plays, and you can be pretty honest in your feedback to each other,” Rhianna said.
“Maddy and Demi have had a lot more time in A Grade than I have, this year is really the first time I’ve secured a spot in the A Grade side.
“As a team we really tried to improve our fitness this year and I think that’s gone a long way to us being in another grand final. We’re very excited and hoping to bounce back.”
Demi, the tallest of the trio, is one of the brightest attacking talents in Sunraysia, but she will have her hands full being matched against Merbein coach and joint Jackie Horkings Medal winner Chloe Lewis.
“It’s going to be a tough match-up as she is obviously a very good player,” Demi said.
“I’ve come up against her a few times, but I’ll be more focused on my own game and trying not to let her get into my head.
“I’m really excited. I’m not as nervous as I was last year because I know a bit more of what to expect. I feel like we’ve bonded really well as a team.”
Maddy said the game would be a proud moment for their parents.
“Mum and Dad are both pretty excited to see us play this weekend. Mum has been the team manager this year too so no doubt she will be watching pretty intently,” she said.