Life Studio has held its nerve in the final few minutes of the Orange Netball Association preliminary final to lock itself into a grand final appearance next weekend.
The Mardi Aplin-led side had its nose in front of Orange Physiotherapy Vipers for virtually the entire clash, but pushed ahead in the final 10 minutes of the last quarter to record a five-goal, 38-33 victory.
It means Studio will come up against Orange City Craig Harvey Mechanical in a rematch of last weekend's major semi-final, which City came out of on top to the tune of a 50-44 win, but that will be a problem to overcome next weekend.
For now, Aplin said she was "really excited, really pleased" with the win.
We contributed down to the last person.Life Studio coach Mardi Aplin
"It was a great game, we were up for most of it but only by one or two points," she said.
"We won three of the four quarters but it was really tough."
Her side managed to put a stranglehold on the Vipers, which came to a head in the final quarter.
While the clocked ticked down, the pressure ticked up and Aplin said "great defence down the court" eventually contributed to turnovers which allowed Life Studio to pull ahead.
"We contributed down to the last person," Aplin said.
"We've worked so hard this year and despite dominating at the start we kind of lost our way a bit at the back-end of the season and had to rejig a few things when Alice [Maier] went down but I think we've really deserved a spot in the grand final.
"Everyone stood up at specific parts and we tried to dominate possession."
Aplin was also relieved to get through unscathed, as she jokingly said her "old age" was the only injury concern out of the game, with any potential injury sending the side down to just seven players.
Despite the injury risk, she said having the extra game under the side's belt would only be a good thing, with Life Studio still aiming to get it's early-year funk back after dipping in the back end of the regular season.
"I think what we have to do as a group is to work as a team, everyone stood up and with eight players everyone needs to go the extra mile," she said.
Meanwhile, Vipers mentor Lynne Middleton said while her side "wasn't good enough on the day", the teal and blacks still gave their all.
"We were going really well but just didn't capitalise, there were a couple of turnovers in the last quarter which hurt," she said.
"We matched them for three and a half quarters and didn't make the most of our opportunities in the last 10 minutes."
"It is disappointing for us all, the girls played really well but just couldn't get over the line."
She added her troops should be proud of their season, and would be better than ever in 2020.
Meanwhile in the Jeep Cup, KWS are through to the grand final after accounting for the Byng Street Beacons on Saturday.
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