A NATALIE Sands hat-trick has lifted the Moama-Echuca Border Raiders women’s side to a 4-1 win against Spring Gully in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.
Needing to win to keep pressure on the top four sides in the race for finals, the Border Raiders struck early and answered the call when challenged in the second half.
The win jumped the side to fifth on the BASL table, a remarkable turnaround from earlier in the season when it had just one point in the first four games.
Sands started the team off perfectly, breaking through to open the scoring just four minutes into the game.
And she doubled her tally and the side’s lead in the 18th minute, Moama well on track for another three points leading 2-0.
But Spring Gully found a way back into the game through Siobhan Thompson, who pulled a goal back for the side in the 28th minute.
It continued to press in search of an equaliser, but the brilliant Sands scored a third time on the hour-mark to give the side some room to breathe.
And Paige Pinson’s 82nd minute goal sealed the 4-1 win, now just two points back from the top four.
With four wins in its last five games and the only loss coming against top side Shepparton United, the Raiders are one of the BASL’s form sides.
The men’s division one side wasn’t as fortunate, losing 0-5 to Spring Gully.
But it was a successful day for division two, breaking through for its first win of the season 3-2 against Spring Gully.
Quinn Kane opened the scoring 13 minutes in before Angus Levett levelled the game in the 28th minute.
Bailey Hart responded soon after for the Raiders to grab a 2-1 lead but Levett again had the answer, making the game 2-2 shortly before half-time.
But the Raiders were desperate for the win and stole the game with an 89th minute winner for Kane.
The youth championship side rescued a point late in their game with Spring Gully, Rhyce Peterson scoring in the 87th minute for a 1-1 draw.