Look out for bumps in the road

By Brayden May

ECHUCA United learnt an important lesson on the weekend — there are still bumps on the road ahead.

In the first half against Congupna, the home side hit a road block as they struggled to have the game played on their terms.

Congupna were able to move the ball between defence and attack swiftly, making the most of United’s zonal defensive tactics.

But a switch to a one-on-one defence saw a lift in intensity in the second half as United ran out 27-goal victors.

‘‘We probably expected them to make the mistakes, rather than us create them,’’ coach Lisa Drysdale said.

‘‘Having that mindset probably put us on the back foot and gave them a bit of confidence.

‘‘When we did switch our defence, our play improved at both ends of the court. It was pleasing that we made the most of our opportunities.

‘‘But Congupna deserve plenty of credit for the way they played.’’

With the game hanging in the balance at half-time, the Eagles elected to make several positional changes — most notably Tanner Edwards’ move from goal attack into centre.

From there, United displayed much greater control when they had the ball in their hands.

‘‘Tanner certainly helped us to settle into our rhythm,’’ Drysdale said.

‘‘She has a great understanding of when to present for the ball — and her off-the-ball movement allows for her teammates to get involved.’’

As part of changes to the side, Tamara Cummins stepped up from B grade into the starting wing attack position.

And Drysdale couldn’t have been more pleased with her performance.

‘‘Tamara was consistent throughout the match and deserved her opportunity,’’ she said.

‘‘She provided her teammates with great chances in the ring.’’

Next up for the Eagles is a trip to take on last-placed Barooga, who have not won a game this season.

‘‘They’re coming off a tough loss so we’re expecting them to be fired up,’’ Drysdale said.

‘‘We need to respect them or we could have a difficult game on our hands.’’