OHA moves clear as new rival emerges
THE women’s Premier League competition saw a clear ladder leader emerge in Round 9, while a third premiership contender announced itself.
OHA took full advantage of North-West Graduates’ dropped points to move two points in front of its close rivals, as the latter drew 0-0 with third-placed Derwent.
The Strikers were in debt to some key saves from goalkeeper Nat Fahey but will draw plenty of confidence as their positive run stretched on for another week.
“It was pleasing to get a result in what was a finals-like contest in which the momentum swung numerous times,” Derwent coach Torin Bester said.
“We were under siege in the third quarter but to the girls’ credit, they soaked it up and were able to hold on led by Jess Tremayne Westland.
“I’ve always had the belief that we can match it with the top sides, so this now should give the girls confidence and belief.”
Graduates’ usual stars of Louisa Jacobson, Clare Rojahn and Grace Calvert were all among their best afield but all too often they were unable to convert their scoring opportunities.
A goal in the final seconds and Eliza saw DiamondBacks share the Brownlow Cup spoils with Canterbury after securing a 4-0 win that reversed the men’s result.
DiamondBacks’ Emily Donovan and Canterbury’s Isobel Sharman were awarded the Vanessa McDonald medal while Angela May netted a fine brace.
The Maroons also saw penalty corner striker Nicole Geeves end her 2018 goal drought while Kara Wilson marked her return with a goal.
University struck first through Lillian McFeeter before OHA righted the ship with three unanswered goals to Julia Gunn, Sofie McLeod and Jean Flanagan to win 3-1 and occupy top spot outright.
The scoreline could have been larger had it not been for a strong defensive performance from Uni goalie Merinda Sainty, while OHA’s best were young talent Maddison Brooks and Flanagan. how I handled it a bit more today,” the world number 97 said.
“I find the nerves of playing bad are a lot harder to deal with than the nerves of playing good. So I feel like it’s a different kind of nerves but they were there.”
With a 10-under 134 halfway total, Smith enjoyed a nice buffer over compatriot Su Oh, who eagled the par-four 15th en route to a 68 for six-under 138.
Following a lightning delay that stretched to nearly four hours, play finally resumed just after 6pm local time but was halted for the day barely an hour later amid fading light and nearby storm clouds.
Smith said she was delighted to see her name atop the leaderboard for the entire round.
“It’s kind of fun seeing that,” she said. “It was weird [building a big lead]. It just felt really easy.”