Blues depth sees B grader carry extra workload

June 12, 2017

DESPITE only five A grade players being available, Tongala had enough to see off Mulwala 58-31 in Saturday’s Murray Netball League action.

With three B grade players stepping up after full games in that division, tired legs weren’t a problem as the Blues showed its superiority at all points to claim a comfortable win.

Paige Wade, Kaitlyn Ohlsen and Stacey McGill were the three players who did double-duty, and Tongala coach Alicia White said they’d continued to show what strong depth exists at the club.

‘‘They performed beautifully. They’ve definitely made my job picking a team quite hard,’’ she said.

With the state of the A grade squad taken into account, White said any sort of victory would have been taken against Mulwala.

‘‘That’s what it was all about for us; even if we had have won by only four or five goals, just to win the game was enough for us,’’ she said.

‘‘To win by the margin we did in those circumstances was fantastic and it’s a credit to the girls they could do that.’’

The Blues asserted themselves early to take the lead, and continued throughout the game to build a comfortable margin.

White said playing each quarter right until the end was a big factor in the taking control of the game.

‘‘We took a pretty early lead, but the last part of each quarter seemed to be where we would put our foot down and score most of our goals,’’ she said.

‘‘We extended our lead at every break towards the end of the quarter.

After Sarah Pettifer suffered a knee injury, all three B grade talents lined up for Tongala in the crucial third quarter, and the coach couldn’t have been happier with what she saw.

‘‘The score in the third quarter was 17-5, and that was with three of our B graders out there,’’ she said.

‘‘That was fantastic to see.’’

White said missing teammates had forced each player to improve their own performance, and made for an improved display on last round’s loss to Numurkah.

‘‘We were really consistent every quarter; it’s not really a good thing, but all the original A grade players had to stand up, and they did,’’ she said.

‘‘There were some pleasing signs, our pressure over the ball was good and our one-percenters in defence were better than they were against Numurkah.’’

Tracey Hughes was the pick of the Tongala players, her work in the goal ring with McGill a positive for the coach.

‘‘Tracey really stepped up and had most of our goals in the second half; she probably hasn’t played like that all season,’’ White said.

‘‘The different combination is making me think it could be a great one. It might be something we look to in the future.’’

Tongala is fourth on the table with a 7-2 record, and will face fifth-placed Deniliquin next week in what is expected to be a tough game.

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