All four teams bound for the Newcastle Open Championship playoffs recorded victories to start their finals campaigns on the right foot, including Souths Lions in a massive 124 goal blockbuster against their sister team Pride.

The Lions managed at least 20 goals a quarter as they battled to an 83-41 win over the last placed team, and in one of the year’s closing regular matches set the goal count record for 2018 – Pride played in the last highest, a 68-40 defeat at the hands of Forsythes.

The Lions now move into the major semi-final next Saturday afternoon, where they will face off against the undefeated West Leagues Balance 1 squad that romped to their second premiership in as many years, and downed Nova Thunder 47-20 in the last round.

Last time Wests 1 and the Lions played in the Championship – in round 10 – the premiers secured a 50-44 win over the ladies in red with a fourth quarter surge, but Souths held a lead for much of the 94 goal battle.

If Souths are to upset the leading club and book their ticket straight to the league’s final and potentially return to Newcastle’s netballing throne, a consistent four-quarter showing will be required next Saturday.

Also on Saturday afternoon, BNC Whanau and Forsythes will contest the minor semi-final, and a chance to make the long run to the grand final at National Park in less than a month, after both teams recorded key victories to close out their seasons.

BNC Whanau defeated West Leagues Balance 2 39-28, while Forsythes bounced back from a three goal deficit in the opening quarter to pip the injury ravaged Maryville Tavern 48-29 and confirm a third place finish over BNC on goal difference.

Forsythes and BNC haven’t come face to face in the top grade since June, when Forsythes claimed bragging rights with a 42 to 35 victory over the Whanau outfit.

The competition’s minor semi-final (Forsythes v BNC) will be played at 2.30pm on August 25. The major semi-final will begin at 3.45pm. Both will be contested on Court 9.

First published as: Playoff teams sweep final week