Eagles rumble towards finals

July 31, 2017

Lisa Thorpe of Rumbalara and Olivia Bish of Echuca United during the MFNL A grade netball match between Echuca United and Rumbalara. Photo by Luke Hemer.

ECHUCA United’s A grade netball produced a comfortable win on Saturday, taking down Rumbalara 65-26 in the Murray Netball League.

The Eagles needed nothing but a win to keep their season on track with just three games left before finals.

With consecutive losses before last week’s slender win against Congupna, it had been a difficult period for them but they answered the call this week with a solid display.

Win-less Rumbalara offered little in terms of a challenge, the classy United outfit taking control of the game early and able to run away with the 39-goal win.

On a windy day at the Echuca South Recreation Reserve, both sides took a while to adapt to the tricky conditions with a few loose possessions from each team.

United’s defence proved an edge, but strong attacking play from Sophie Atkinson and Gracie Berryman was just as important as it built a strong lead.

Ball movement was an issue for the Eagles in the first half but it improved in the second as they continued to get the ball up the court with ease, the mid-court players especially important in the win.

A shell of last year’s grand final side, Rumbalara was outscored by nearly 100 goals in this season’s games with United, who beat Rumba for the 2016 flag.

The game was the 50th senior appearance for Atkinson and Amy Gledhill, and they both marked the occasion with an impressive display.

In a strong performance from the team, Atkinson, Berryman and Breanna Bookham were named as United’s best.

The win left United fifth on the Murray League ladder, locked on 11 wins with fourth-placed Deniliquin.

It has the bye this weekend before winnable games against Finley and Cobram leading into a tricky final round match-up with Numurkah.

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