Hawks have wings clipped

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT -

In a sea­son that sits on an even keel, Mur­ray Net­ball League matches are al­ready car­ry­ing ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance and we are only just past the half­way mark.

You can throw a blan­ket over six teams in the mid­dle of the lad­der which have a re­al­is­tic chance of se­cur­ing the cov­eted fi­nal spot in the top eight.

One of the key sub-plots in the race for eighth po­si­tion emerged on Satur­day when Ba­rooga trav­elled down the high­way to take on Echuca United.

The equa­tion was sim­ple for the Hawks. A win would mean they would only be one game be­hind the Ea­gles in sev­enth, but a loss would put them firmly back among the cir­cling prey.

In the end, Ba­rooga was un­able to get the de­sired re­sult in the bat­tle of the birds, hav­ing its wings clipped in a 33-41 de­feat.

The out­come was cer­tainly not due to a lack of ap­petite for the con­test, ac­cord­ing to co-coach Tay­lah Hazel­man.

‘‘It was a very phys­i­cal game, prob­a­bly our tough­est game for the year so far, but I thought we were up for the fight,’’ Hazel­man said.

‘‘They had a patch of five to 10 min­utes at the start of the sec­ond quar­ter where they opened up a bit of a lead on us, but after that it was vir­tu­ally even.’’

Hazel­man said while it was dis­ap­point­ing to lose a game of such im­por­tance, it was hard to be too de­spon­dent given the Hawks’ at­ti­tude through­out the game.

In a pos­i­tive, co-coach Sharni Hazel­man played her best game of the sea­son and cre­ated plenty of turnovers in the cen­tre of the court.

De­spite los­ing, the Hawks moved into eighth po­si­tion over Fin­ley on per­cent­age, show­ing ex­actly how close the com­pe­ti­tion is.

This week­end shapes as an­other do-or-die en­counter against Mul­wala, who sits level on points with the Hawks.

First in, best dressed: Ea­gle Olivia Bish gets the ball ahead of Ba­rooga’s Kayla Eddy.

Con­test: Ba­rooga’s Abbey Jones and Echuca United op­po­nent Jes­sica David­son reach for the ball.

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