Pigeons chase another grand final

STREAK CHASERS: Yarrawonga's Laura Bourke will be out to play a crucial role as the Pigeons chase another grand final appearance.
STREAK CHASERS: Yarrawonga's Laura Bourke will be out to play a crucial role as the Pigeons chase another grand final appearance.

Yarrawonga will be striving for an 11th successive A grade grand final appearance when it tackles North Albury in Sunday’s preliminary final.

The Pigeons have won six of the 10, including last year’s thrilling two-goal win over Lavington.

The winner at North’s Bunton Park will meet the undefeated Lavington in the decider on September 23.

“They’re young, quick and extremely accurate, so we’ve got to really try and and get a good start on them,” Yarrawonga coach Bridget Cassar said.

“Their defensive end, with Nakita Singe, is really strong and if they can get a couple of turnovers her drive out of defence is fantastic.

“Nakita and Elyse Boyer make up a really good combination and in the attacking end, their goalers are just dynamite.”

Grace Senior leads the goalscoring with 656 at around 80 per cent.

North staged a final term fightback to end Albury’s season, with Senior snaring 31.

“We watched them against Albury last week and we’re a different style to them, so we can’t take too much out of that,” Cassar said.

Yarrawonga, meantime, will look to bounce back from its one-goal loss to Lavington.

Meanwhile, one of the players who've played a leading role in the Pigeons’ decade-long dominance will celebrate a milestone.

Kylie Leslie will play her 250th club game in the Pigeons’ B grade clash against Lavington.

“Xave (husband Xavier Leslie) and I think it’s a really special club and I’m pretty honoured to play 250 for the club,” Leslie said.

The 31-year-old started playing for the Pigeons after moving from Corryong in her mid-teens.

Leslie played in B grade titles in 2001 and 2003, before snaring the first of her four A grade flags in 2009.

“Kylie has come back from two knee recos and she’s broken her collarbone and wrist, so it’s a great effort to come back from all those injuries,” Cassar said of the club stalwart.

“Everyone thinks Kylie Leslie, she’s played in all these premierships, which she has, but something our kids probably aspire to is she’s played in our lower grades, she’s come back through the lower ranks from injuries.

“Her experience, composure and work ethic is just something we hope our kids look up to.”

Leslie missed the 2013 and 16 seasons while having her two children and she doesn’t expect to return to A grade next year.

“Yeah, coming back after Jimmy, being my age (31), I thought it would be best if I played B grade this year,” she said.

“I’m not quite up to it any more.”

There’s a host of opponents who would disagree.