MAFFRA has been left reeling after getting within a stone’s throw of last year’s grand finalists, Drouin, during round two of Gippsland League netball.
In rain, hail and shine, Maffra and Drouin battled it out, the Eagles eventually dropping some of their earlier control to fall 51-44 to the home side.
Starting out steady, with all players reluctant to fall victim to the slippery courts, the pace eventually ramped up as it became clear it could be anyone’s game.
The Eagles were boosted by a welcome addition to its goal circle — former Magpie Meg Gordyn, standing at six foot, made feeds around the ring slightly more vertical, but effortlessly rebounded what little she missed.
Despite having to tackle 2017 league best-and-fairest Drouin’s Stacie Gardiner and sister Kylie Proctor, the Eagles’ defensive end, consisting of Meg Cromb, Paige Biddle and Sarah Luke, applied plenty of pressure and managed to squeeze some defensive turnovers from the Hawks.
In the final quarter, adrenaline kicked in a little too hard, and while the Eagles’ centre passes were steadily converted into goals, any defensive turnovers the Eagles managed somehow got lost on their way to the goal circle.
The loss has shuffled Maffra down to fifth on the ladder, a position the Eagles will be hoping to better when they play Wonthaggi in their first home game of the season next weekend.
WHILE it was touch and go in similarly adverse conditions, Moe managed to defeat Sale 40-29 on the Magpies’ home court.
Moe gradually increased its lead at each break, from four to seven to 11 at the final whistle.
The feature of the match was the clash between Moe’s Charlize Bird and Sale’s Kristy Glover — both handling the difficult conditions well and were named best-on-court for their respective teams.
Moe’s defence was bolstered by Olise Sim, while Sale’s defence held their own, with goal keeper Ruby Phillips and Mia Simmons doing their best to get those crucial turnovers.
In a tough run of the draw, a now ninth-placed Sale will play against last year’s premier Traralgon, on the Maroon’s home courts on Saturday night.
IN other matches, Morwell defeated Bairnsdale 46-35 on their home courts, Traralgon well and truly overran Leongatha 79-31, and Wonthaggi suffered a heart-breaking 24-23 loss to Warragul.