MOAMA got its title defence off to the perfect start as it dispatched a young Echuca United side in A grade netball on Good Friday.
The 27-48 scoreline was flattering for the visitors, who had to fight for every goal against the fledgling side.
Jacqui James’ Magpies showed signs of first-game jitters as the season opener got under way. But they shook that off to finish the game strongly.
‘‘Pretty tough,’’ James said of the game.
‘‘They kept their heads very well. Both sides had lapses of concentration at times and I think we just capitalised on those a bit better.
‘‘They felt very quick out there as they were a younger side.’’
She said considering the heat on the day, along with two new players joining the team, she could not be happier.
‘‘We had two under-17 players come up and play extraordinarily well – Alannah Gilmore and Corey Drennan came up and both played an awesome game,’’ James said.
‘‘Alannah was our best on (court) and shot accurately throughout.’’
United started well against the reigning premiers, keeping level until the end of the first quarter, but could not keep up with an older and more-experienced squad as the game progressed.
Youngsters Alana Nelson and Remy Day were beacons of hope for United fans on the day, as their performances kept the ship afloat.
Echuca United netball president Tracey Pearson said the club was improving with each match, seeing as a number of partnerships were still bedding in.
‘‘There are a lot of new combinations in the side,’’ Pearson said.
‘‘They are a young squad, and after only a few practice matches really they haven’t played together that much. There’s a lot of positives to take from Friday’s match,’’ she said.
James said the scoreline did not reflect how close the game was for the majority.
‘‘It felt like a close game the whole way, so we’re very happy with it, and especially winning by that much,’’ James said.
‘‘There is that rivalry between us and people were talking about it in the lead up into the match, so it was good to start the season like that for us,’’ she said.
Pearson said the team was still in the process of gelling and was proud of the side for their efforts.
‘‘We have a fairly new A and B squad, so for the first match against the reigning premiers they’re very strong,’’ she said.
‘‘We knew we were up against it and the girls played well on such a hot day.
‘‘We had two separate incidents of girls throwing up on the courts over the day, they were working so hard.’’
In the B grade, Moama 42 defeated Echuca United 31 to ensure the Three Jacks Trophy remained with the Magpies.