Moama leaps over danger game

July 18, 2017

Olivia Bish of Echuca United and Charlotte Long of Moama during the MFNL A grade netball match between Echuca United and Moama. Photo by Luke Hemer.

MOAMA’S A grade continued its dominance of the Murray Netball League on Saturday by knocking off one of its toughest contenders.

The Mowers made the most of an inconsistent performance from Echuca United to secure a confident 24-goal victory away from home.

Its next test would be Tongala this weekend and coach Charlotte Long said the team would go into the game breathing a little easier having got over United.

But they were still expecting a challenge against the Blues who trumped United by seven goals the round before.

‘‘No matter what the score line is we always get a similar intensity from United,’’ Long said.

‘‘It’s always a grudge match when we play and this time we had something to lose.

‘‘We were definitely the top dogs going in which adds to the pressure.

‘‘Everyone was a little nervous going into this one so it’s good to get the game out of the way and come out with the win.’’

Angela Slattery was a gun in the defence end, delivering a best on-court performance against United’s goal shooter Sophie Atkinson.

She read the play beautifully to produce several turnovers.

The mid-court worked the best it had all year to elegantly – and with impressive pace – bring the ball down the court.

‘‘It felt really easy and smooth through the mid-court,’’ Long said.

‘‘It was probably the best we had worked together.

‘‘Our aim every time we play these tougher sides is to rise to the occasion and we certainly did that (on Saturday).’’

Long said the goal-end found it hard to settle as they worked on multiple combinations throughout the game.

‘‘Our defence end was the strongest by far, but I made it hard on our shooters with a lot of positional changes,’’ Long said.

‘‘We mixed it up in trying to find the best combination as we’ll be missing Emilly Atkinson next week for the Tongala game.’’

Cindy Kusli (GS) and Steph Watson (GA) started in goals but were well accounted for by Eagles’ defenders Amy Gledhill (GK) and Klarindah Hudson (GD).

The Eagles kept with them in the first quarter to be down by just one goal at quarter time, 7-8.

Coach Elle Florance said inconsistency hurt the home side as it literally threw the game into Moama’s hands.

‘‘There were just too many skill errors on our part which Moama capitalised on,’’ she said.

Georgia Groves was brought into GS at quarter time and created some more movement under the post.

But it was Moama’s defensive pressure throughout the court which caused the most damage and by half-time the margin had grown to 10 goals.

Florance came on for the second quarter after missing the game against Tongala with injury, but was replaced by Hudson mid-way through the term.

The constant changes allowed Moama to get a run-on in goals.

United was down 12-22 going into the second half and Florance said it couldn’t afford to play the way it did in an A grade game.

‘‘We made too many mistakes and on too many occasions we threw the ball away or into their hands,’’ she said.

‘‘We needed to keep working ourselves into the game and we just didn’t do that.

‘‘We had a game plan going into the game and when we stuck to it we were rewarded.

‘‘But we just didn’t do it consistently enough and that’s something we’ll be looking at this week.’’

Hudson suffered cramps part-way through the third quarter which called for more changes in the defence-end, with Gledhill moving into GD and Florance coming on into GK.

Watson came-off in the second quarter to give Atkinson and Groves a half together in goals while Kusli moved into WA.

The changes saw them pile on 11 goals in the third term to lead 33-19 at the final break.

Typical of Moama’s game, it saved the best for last – breaking away in the fourth quarter to score 16 goals to United’s six.

At the same time, United players looked to drop their heads as the opposition ran out the game 49-25.

The Eagles would welcome an easy run home with Congupna, Rumbalara and Finley to come in the next three games.

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