Picola United holds off a determined Mathoura

June 20, 2017

SATURDAY’S Picola and District Netball League rematch between Mathoura and Picola United has resulted in double the bragging rights for one team.

United overcame a determined opposition to claim its second win against the Timbercutters at Picola.

Coach Leesa Hoopell said they were lucky to get over the line after holding off Mathoura in the final quarter.

‘‘Mathoura was out to beat us and to their credit played a beautiful game,’’ she said.

‘‘They were a much stronger side from the first game and had improved a hell of a lot.

‘‘We still had a very new combination this week and missed a lot of opportunities down the court with some silly passes.’’

The Timbercutters showed plenty of vigour in the first term to be trailing by one goal at the break, 9-10, and strong rebounds from defenders Laura Hudson and Jenna Smith kept them in the hunt.

United failed to capitalise in the goal ring and made difficult work for Danielle Mahncke and Caitlin Boshcetti who combined superbly in defence to win a lot of the ball back.

It was Boshcetti’s second run in A grade — having come up from B grade — and Hoopell said she was easily their best on court.

‘‘It’s important we reward the players who are playing well in whatever grade and give them that opportunity to step up,’’ Hoopell said.

‘‘She’s shown two weeks in a row now she’s capable of playing a strong game in A grade.

‘‘We’ve got the players, now it’s just about finding that right combination and where they play best.’’

Defender Kimberly McPherson was once again in goals with Emma Greaves and the two moved well to create a lot of space for Jacinda Barnes and Alyx Glanville to feed into.

But inaccuracy under the ring meant they were only up by three goals at half-time.

An impressive third quarter gave United the run on it needed, soon breaking away for an eight goal lead heading into the fourth, 34-26.

Hoopell said there was never a point where she felt comfortable with the scores, knowing the capability of Mathoura’s players.

By this stage Picola had settled into its combinations though and delivered a number of strong passages of play to see out the game 45-38.

Ali Boyd had come from playing under 17s to take on the WD role and created a lot of defensive pressure.

Mathoura’s Laura Hudson was again the team’s strongest player in GD, but came off part way through the last quarter as GK.

Hoopell hoped to return to training and consolidate on more partnerships and iron out their goals before taking on Strathmerton this weekend.

Roxanne Atkinson was still waiting in the wings to make a return to A grade as a goal shooter, meaning there were still more changes to come at United.

‘‘It’s getting harder now with players being restricted to certain grades having played so many games,’’ Hoopell said.

‘‘But we’ve had a bad run of injuries which has meant we’ve had to pull a lot of players up.

‘‘At the end of the day it goes on the girls’ form as to where they play.’’

Picola still remains outside the top five on the same points as Berrigan who is above it in fifth.

Mathoura has no chance of reaching finals this season on only two wins but the club continues to improve each week and is sitting as favourites in B grade.

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