Consistency the key for Blues getting over the line

August 01, 2017

DESPITE a convincing 22-goal win over Cobram on Saturday, Tongala Netball Club’s A grade has slipped to third on the Murray Netball League ladder.

Coach Alicia White said it was half expecting it heading into the round with Numurkah close on percentage.

‘‘Looking at the draw, Numurkah still has to play two top four sides (Deniliquin and Echuca United),’’ White said.

‘‘Our next three games are Congupna, Finley and Rumbalara who we’ve had easy wins against this year so there’s a strong chance to make up some percentage.

‘‘If we can end the season on a couple of big wins we should end up above them, but a large part of that (how Numurkah performs) is out of our hands.’’

If the Blues could produce the same consistency as they did against Cobram at Tongala on Saturday, there was no reason to not score some massive margins in the final three rounds.

White said their persistence was the main factor in getting the four points.

‘‘We had really nice links down the court,’’ White said.

‘‘Cobram was consistent, but our third quarter was really strong and made the difference in the end.’’

The Blues lead by just two goals at quarter, 10-8, before pushing out the lead to six by half-time.

Rose Hammond played her first A grade game, having come up from the under 17s, and slotted into the attacking line up with ease as WA.

‘‘She’s still eligible for under 15s and the game was a good opportunity to give another junior a taste of senior netball,’’ White said.

‘‘We’ve still got Abby Pettifer and Caddi Mulholland out and we’re trying to bleed some youth through while we can.’’

Tracey Hughes and Sara Pettifer combined brilliantly in goals, working the edge of the circle to feed beautifully into each other.

Amy Hammond and Amy O’Neil were given best on court and White said defensively it was one of their most sound games.

‘‘Amy O’Neil was really strong in goal keeper,’’ White said.

‘‘Along with Amy Hammond in WD, the two were both defensively consistent and that’s what we’re after at this point in the year.

‘‘Cobram had a strong defensive unit and some nice players so we’re just happy to get the four points.’’

The third quarter saw the Blues restrict the opposition to three goals while scoring 11 of their own.

It set up a 14-goal lead at the final change before another strong quarter brought about the easy win, 43-21.

With Congupna looming this week, Tongala needs to bring its second half performance for the entire game.

The Road was four points outside the six and would no doubt come out fighting for a place in finals.

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