Roos and Bur­ras set pace

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY LOTTE REITER

Dim­boola is de­ter­mined to re­claim a spot in fi­nals this year, and noth­ing was clearer as it en­tered Wim­mera Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s 2019 A Grade com­pe­ti­tion with force on Satur­day.

The Roos missed fi­nals for the first time in years last sea­son and their quest to ad­vance up the lad­der re­ceived a round-one boost as they notched an im­pres­sive 51-goal vic­tory over new-look Nhill.

The Roos kept a rel­a­tively con­sis­tent team com­po­si­tion com­ing into the sea­son and gelled well as a re­sult, mak­ing life tough on Nhill, which strug­gled to pen­e­trate Roos’ de­fen­sive line.

Dim­boola’s Olivia Jor­gensen and Rhi­an­non But­ler led the way in their side’s 80-29 sea­son-start­ing win.

Nhill signed for­mer A Grade net­ball coach Mandy Stephan to lead the team again.

She said she would love the her side to be more com­pet­i­tive in 2019.

But while the Tigers were well served by Catherine Bates, the out­fit was un­able to se­cure a firstround win.

There was still cause for Nhill cel­e­bra­tion on Satur­day, with Emma Dick­in­son play­ing her 250th club

game for the Tigers in B Grade. Stawell is pre­par­ing to bat­tle it out against Ararat in a Good Fri­day game this week.

The War­riors had a tough 2018 sea­son, win­ning just two matches, and couldn’t match South­ern Mallee Giants’ pace in a 48-61 roundone loss.

Stawell put up a fight though, with best-player ac­co­lades for Jemma Clark­son in at­tack and Tarnee Orr in cen­tre.

The new-look Giants will be buoyed by a first-round win, goalies Steph Thomson and Amy Dodds con­tribut­ing a healthy 32 and 29 goals re­spec­tively for their side.

Ararat, mean­while, recorded an ex­hil­a­rat­ing one-goal vic­tory against War­rack Ea­gles.

The Ea­gles re­turn to the com­pe­ti­tion with nearly all of last year’s side, and player con­ti­nu­ity has been a strong fea­ture of the out­fit in pre­vi­ous sea­sons.

But the Rats ul­ti­mately took vic­tory in the tense first match, con­vert­ing just enough chances to hold on against the fast-fin­ish­ing Ea­gles af­ter lead­ing by five goals at the fi­nal change.

Hor­sham Saints will need to shrug off a com­pre­hen­sive 24-goal loss to Minyip-mur­toa.

Saints Ash­lee Grace and Elly Bar­nett were shin­ing lights, but the Bur­ras’ height served them well, shooter Kirby Knight and Jes­sica El­der in de­fence best-on-court for the vic­to­ri­ous home team.

Round-one re­sults: South­ern Mallee Giants d Stawell 61-48, Minyip­mur­toa d Hor­sham Saints 52-28, Dim­boola d Nhill 80-29, Ararat d War­rack Ea­gles 49-48.

MILE­STONE: Nhill net­ball stalwart Emma Dick­in­son played her 250th game for the club on Satur­day. Dick­in­son and her B Grade team-mates recorded a four-goal win against Dim­boola. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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