First win for season
EAGLES B RESERVE
PERFECT netball conditions greeted us on Saturday, and the B Reserve girls were anxious knowing that playing one of our biggest rivals could potentially yield a win, the first for our season.
The team had a solid line up and with Jemma Purcell back from illness and Preet in fine form, our goaling was in safe hands.
We desperately wanted to win for our heavily pregnant coach, Monique Clarke.
Preet Sandhu, our resident goal attack, suffered a mild hamstring injury during training Thursday night.
While she felt good at the start of warm up, her hamstring started to niggle toward the end.
The first quarter was pretty even between the two sides, however, Benalla struggled to get their goals in which were eaten up by Belle Edwards and Nerine Rogers with their strong rebounds.
Annie Edwards’ work rate was helpful bringing the ball out of defence into our attack end.
All season we have struggled with this, and it was discussed prematch that the attackers needed to refrain from leading too soon which congested the centre third.
With this fresh in everyone’s mind it allowed the transition to occur with Millie Christopher and Bec Watkins working together to feed the ball into Preet and Jemma.
Ellen’s magic hands allowed Preet to work hard and keep the Benalla goal defence busy which allowed a one on one contest with Jemma and her goal keeper.
Millie’s feeds were on fire to Jemma, she waited for Jemma to be in position and set up prior to passing it off.
Jemma’s work was cut out for her, with a very physical opponent who could also jump.
However, Jemma’s experience meant she dictated where the GK went and made sure they knew who was boss.
Bec Watkins, playing her second game for the season after injury, worked hard to keep the Benalla centre out of the game.
With hands over the ball at each Benalla centre pass, and any other time her opponent had possession of the ball, certainly worked as a number of held balls and intercepts by Bec’s teammates added another chance for Mansfield to score.
Lauren McGinty and Courtney Purcell have a calm presence on court, they never look flustered and let us know when we’re not on or the pass isn’t there.
They take control of the game and can slow the play down when they have possession of the ball, which is what we need at times.
Saturday saw the girls play out four quarters of netball, despite Benalla’s best efforts to catch us, we managed to hold on for the sweet victory we have longed for.
Best On Court: Bec Watkins (Sponsored by Mansfield Hotel); Coach’s Award: Millie Christopher (Sponsored by MFNC Canteen)
Final Scores: Mansfield 36 d. Benalla 33