SALE Netball Association found the going tough in its return to the open competition of the Eastern Regional Victorian Netball League on Friday night.
Sale lost to three-time Champions Challenger winner Gippsland League 53-28 in the first round at Churchill.
Gippsland lost goal shooter Ramayer Gourley to the Victorian Fury in the Australian Netball League, but looked to keep that position in the family by recruiting Taylin Gourley from Mid Gippsland.
Gippsland showed why it was so hard to beat with a massive first half 30-15 first half, as its experience overshadowed Sale’s youth.
North Gippsland Football-Netball League defeated last year’s runner-up Mid Gippsland Netball Association 47-35.
NGFNL came to play and has recruited well, with players such as Kristy Lucas, Sarah Schellen and Bronwyn Tebb in its line-up.
IN the 17 and under competition, Mid Gippsland couldn’t match it with Sale, which won 48-25.
Basic things such as decision making, low shooting percentage and mid-court confusion by Mid Gippsland allowed Sale to take control of the match early. It was always going to be difficult for Mid Gippsland with only five goals on the board in the first quarter.
Searching for a hat-trick of premierships, the Gippsland League fought off a determined East Gippsland Football-Netball League 52-39.
Gippsland led 12-11 at quarter-time before slowly extending its lead.
Pakenham Netball Association defeated NGFNL 47-31.
The highly-fancied Pakenham came out flying, scoring 15 goals to seven in the first quarter.
Pakenham faltered in the second, allowing North Gippsland to outscore it 10-8.
Pakenham played hard netball in the second half to win by 16 goals.
THIS Friday night in the open division at Churchill, Sale will play Mid Gippsland, while North Gippsland and Gippsland will meet in the match of the round.
In the 17 and under, East Gippsland will play Mid Gippsland, Sale will take on North Gippsland, and Gippsland and Pakenham will meet.
THREE rounds of the 15 and under competition have been played. Matches continue on Monday nights at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex in Sale.