Hawks have wings clipped
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.