Swifts start strongly

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY SARAH SCULLY

Swifts look to be the early sur­prise pack­age of the 2018 Hor­sham District league sea­son af­ter en­joy­ing a com­pre­hen­sive 32-goal vic­tory over Pimpinio at the week­end.

The Bag­gies have strug­gled in the A Grade com­pe­ti­tion for sev­eral sea­sons, fin­ish­ing to­wards the tail end of the lad­der, how­ever, a new-look team ap­pears set to chal­lenge a few sides this year.

For­mer Stawell War­rior Michaela Armer led the way in Swifts’ first game for the sea­son fol­low­ing a bye, shoot­ing 29 goals in a best-on-court per­for­mance.

Coach Court­ney Mor­row was ef­fec­tive in the mid­court in wet and windy con­di­tions, while Pimpinio was best served by de­fend­ers Shae-lea Fis­cher and Lau­ren Bowen.

Swifts will look to con­tinue their rise on Satur­day when they take on Ru­pa­nyup.

The match should be an in­ter­est­ing one, with the Pan­thers nip­ping at the heels of the top five for a few years.

Ru­pa­nyup will be out to get a win on the board this week fol­low­ing a 44goal loss to reign­ing premier Na­timuk United.

Mid­courters Alex Downes and Jenni Downer were shin­ing lights in the loss and will need to work hard to feed goalies Blair Burke and Brianna Hys­lop if their side is to get over the line.

Na­timuk United will look to con­tinue on its win­ning way against Eden­hope-ap­s­ley.

The Saints would be buoyed by a three-goal win over an im­proved Kal­kee, but will have their work cut out for them against the Ewes.

The Saints will give it a good go but Na­timuk United’s de­fend­ers are likely to be too strong for their smaller goalies – par­tic­u­larly with Casey Vanstan be­ing the Ewes’ most in­flu­en­tial player for the past two weeks.

Rachael Elm­slie and Ash Ryan shone in wing de­fence and cen­tre re­spec­tively against the Kees and will face a strong and ver­sa­tile mid­court on Satur­day.

Missed op­por­tu­nity

Kal­kee will be ru­ing a missed op­por­tu­nity against the Saints and will be out to send a mes­sage to the com­pe­ti­tion against Har­row-bal­moral.

Kees mid­courter Mil­lie Mcrae bat­tled hard in tough con­di­tions last week while Jenna By­wa­ters im­pressed at both ends in her first game with her new club.

They will both have big roles against the Southern Roos, who are work­ing to gel new play­ers and a change-up of po­si­tions.

This looks to be the most evenly matched game be­tween the sides for some time.

Kal­kee de­fend­ers Clair Mcdon­ald and Coco Ledgar will have their hands full against strong Har­row-bal­moral goalies Amy Lewis and Sara Mc­cuish.

The match-up be­tween Roos de­fender Me­gan Rus­sell and Jenna By­wa­ters in goals should also be a good one.

Rus­sell was the stand­out in her side’s 28-goal win over Tay­lors Lake, which was best served by goalie So­phie Heard and mid­courter-de­fender Ella Slo­rach.

The Lak­ers have a bye this week.

Big­ger bodies

Jeparit-rain­bow moved the ball well against No­rad­juha-quan­tong last week but might strug­gle against the big­ger bodies of La­harum, fresh off a bye.

Cen­tre Ash Mor­ri­son and at­tacker Bre­anna Ea­stick both had solid games and will look to per­form well against the Demons.

Mid­courters Ge­or­gia Fran­cis and Carly Creek were best in the Bombers’ 23-goal win and will be key fig­ures against Pimpinio.

The Tigers will be look­ing for a con­sis­tent per­for­mance and a big scalp af­ter fall­ing short of Swifts, but will have to be on-song in the ring against the Bombers’ strong de­fen­sive op­tions. Round-two re­sults: No­rad­juha-quan­tong d Jeparit-rain­bow 46-23, Swifts d Pimpinio 57-25, Na­timuk United d Ru­pa­nyup 69-25, Eden­hope-ap­s­ley d Kal­kee 32-29, Har­row-bal­moral d Tay­lors Lake 55-27.

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