Playing against the premier teams can bring out your best as a group.
Despite falling to last year’s runner-up Tocumwal by five goals in Picola & District League A grade action on Saturday, Mathoura coach Rohan Starkey labelled the game as his side’s ‘‘best performance of the season’’.
Throughout the week, Starkey stressed his side needed a fast start and they accepted his challenge in a first half littered with turnovers.
‘‘The team which converted their opportunities from turnovers was always going to win the game,’’ he said.
‘‘Our intensity was really impressive from the first whistle.’’
Unfortunately for the Timbercutters, it was the visitors who made the most of their chances in the ring in the second half — although Starkey couldn’t have been prouder of his side’s output.
‘‘Even though the scoreboard wasn’t in our favour it doesn’t feel like a loss,’’ he said.
‘‘Going into the game we knew it was going to be tough but we stuck to our task for four quarters.
‘‘Pushing a top team is a sign of the direction our team is building towards.’’
Mathoura’s performance started at the defensive end as Janelle Handy (GK), Shannon Mills (GD) and Liv Brownfield (WD) left their mark on the contest with outstanding displays.
‘‘As a trio they were relentless and won plenty of the ball back for our attackers,’’ Starkey explained.
‘‘Janelle’s height and her ability to read the game so well caused havoc for their shooters.
‘‘Liv’s pressure around the circle and her drive through the mid court was first class.’’
Next up for the Timbercutters is a trip to take on Waaia — and victory is a must if they want to keep their finals hopes alive.
Final score, Tocumwal 34 to Mathoura 29. Awards: Forever Fresh - Janelle Handy; Echuca Hotel - Liv Brownfield; Central IGA - Shannon Mills.
Mathoura’s B grade had a fantastic 11 goal win against the Bloods.
The leads, drives from attack and defence shown by the Timbercutters was outstanding throughout the game.
Unfortunately an ankle injury to star defender Tayla Gittens put a dampener on the result.
Georgi McKellar and Janelle Handy stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods for their attackers to score on. Mel Vanzetta was the star and voice of the court.
Final score, Mathoura 47 to Tocumwal 36. Awards: Echuca - Mel Vanzetta; Forever Fresh - Kelly Davidson.
After a shaky start Mathoura’s C grade reeled Tocumwal in as the game progressed for an 18 goal victory.
The Timbercutters mosquito fleet nearly needed helmets and body armour at times due to the physicality of the game, but stood up to it and put score board pressure on the opposition.
Final score, Mathoura 42 to Tocumwal 24. Awards: Dynamic Fitness - Maddie French; Border Inn - Maddy McKellar.
It was a bit of a slow start by the C reserve Timbercutters, but they managed to record a good win in the end.
Mathoura need to look further into the ring as their shooters were finding space well.
The Timbercutters’ team spirit was alive and well with everyone happy to spend time on the bench for others.
Final score, Mathoura 28 to Tocumwal 10. Awards: Border Inn - Laura Haworth; Numanz - Louise Jachim.
Mathoura’s Under 17s were no match for the Bloods, going down by 34 goals.
Heading into this game the Timbercutters had three focus areas, talking to each other, re-offering and not crowding the space.
It was a great start from Mathoura, however the second quarter went the way of the Bloods.
The pace stepped up and Tocumwal out ran Mathoura.
Melody Cheep worked amazingly in centre and continued 100 per cent effort and talked to the girls on and off the court.
Mackenzie Emery also impressed with her ongoing re-offering down the court.
Final score, Tocumwal 56 to Mathoura 22. Awards: Bakery - Melody Cheep; McDonald’s - Mackenzie Emery.
U15 lost 26 to 37
Unfortunately Mathoura couldn’t get the win against Tocumwal in the Under 15s.
The Timbercutters should, however, be happy with how they played.
Mathoura have been working hard at training and it’s really starting to show.
There were fantastic passages of play by the Timbercutters and they were all working well together.
Mathoura kept their heads up for the entire game and finished just as strong as they had started.
There was great moving in the ring from their shooters and defence was strong as always.
Final score, Tocumwal 37 to Mathoura 26. Awards: McDonald’s - Liv Jachim; IGA - Andie Lindberg.
It was a tough game for the Under 13s Timbercutters, going down by 46 goals.
Mathoura came up against a well drilled Tocumwal who have played together for a number of years.
Despite the score, Mathoura still put into practice a lot of the things they are learning at training and are improving every week.
Congratulations to Lara O’Callaghan who played her first U13s game after putting in the hard work at training with the U11s.
Final score, Tocumwal 46 to Mathoura no score. Awards: De Trazani - Jess Van Zutphen; IGA - Makayla Armstrong; McDonald’s - Lara OCallaghan.
The U11s Timbercutters continue to impress each week.
The effort they put in week after week is such a pleasure to watch.
The Athlete’s Foot award went to Bella Atkinson, who continuously ran to find space .
The $5 award went Julie Fielcher, who is an incredible player and gave it her best quarter after quarter from GD to GA.
The two McDonald’s awards went to Tahlia Atkinson and Savannah Emery.