High hopes for 2017

The Riverine Herald - - GAME ON - By Jess Gled­hill Jamie Lowe, Pas­toral Times

MATHOURA’S B grade is look­ing for­ward to next sea­son af­ter fall­ing ag­o­nis­ingly short of a premier­ship in 2017.

The Tim­ber­cut­ters fell one goal short of Strath­mer­ton in their Pi­cola and Dis­trict League grand fi­nal last week­end, with the Bull­dogs vic­to­ri­ous 33-32 in Blighty.

It was a game that saw mo­men­tum swing back and for­ward with the Tim­ber­cut­ters get­ting the jump on Strathy lead­ing by as much as six goals dur­ing the first quar­ter.

The Bull­dogs man­aged to peg back the mar­gin with Mathoura lead­ing 9 to 8 at the first break.

Strathy would then pull away to what would be­come a match win­ning lead in the sec­ond, lead­ing the Tim­ber­cut­ters 22 to 15 at the main break.

The bat­tle con­tin­ued in the third and de­spite their best ef­forts, the Tim­ber­cut­ters were un­able to put a dent in the deficit, scores at 28 to 21 head­ing into the last.

Mathoura were de­ter­mined in the fi­nal quar­ter, swing­ing mo­men­tum in their favour and scor­ing big.

The Tim­ber­cut­ters crowds voices be­gan to lift as their girls edged closer to the Bull­dogs, set­ting up an ex­cit­ing fin­ish.

Un­for­tu­nately for Mathoura, they sim­ply ran out of time, with Strath­mer­ton vic­to­ri­ous as the fi­nal whis­tle was blown.

Best on court was awarded to Strath­mer­ton’s Geor­gia Ryan.

Mathoura play­ing coach Kat Wip­pel said that if there was a cou­ple more min­utes on the clock, that her side would’ve been vic­to­ri­ous.

‘‘That last quar­ter was a mas­sive ef­fort from all the girls,’’ she said.

‘‘The whole game we felt that we were close to them and that it was a tight game.

‘‘We had all the mo­men­tum late in the game but we were beaten by the fi­nal whis­tle.’’

Wip­pel praised the ef­forts of her side, say­ing that they had a tremen­dous sea­son.

‘‘We only lost three games and had one draw in the nor­mal sea­son, so that’s pretty good,’’ she said.

‘‘We were strug­gling for num­bers in our netball depart­ment un­til the half­way point of the sea­son, so it’s a credit to the girls that we even made it into the grand fi­nal.

‘‘It was our ef­fort on and off the court that got us there and it paid off by us mak­ing it to the last day of the fi­nals.

‘‘As a player I’m dev­as­tated that we couldn’t win but as a coach I’m proud of just how close we came to a premier­ship win.

‘‘I’ve had an amaz­ing year as coach and I can’t wait for what the next sea­son will bring.’’

Photo: He­len Barker

Spring in her step: Mathoura de­fender Shan­non Mills leaps high in the air to pres­sure the Strath­mer­ton shooter in the Pi­cola and Dis­trict league B grade grand fi­nal.

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