A STUNNING final term gave Sale’s 17 and under team a thrilling victory over North Gippsland during round four of Eastern Regional State League netball.
It appeared Sale was feeling the effects of a short turnaround of only five days in between games as it looked to string two consecutive wins together as North Gippsland, looking to make amends for the previous week’s painful loss, began steady and set the pace to lead by five goals at quarter-time.
Goal shooter Phoebe Escreet was shooting a perfect score compared to Sale’s disappointing scoring rate of 50 per cent.
The following two quarters were relatively even, seeing North going into the final quarter with a seven-goal lead.
Sale made a number of changes for the final quarter, benching Taylah Ballinger and Courtney Dyer bringing on fresh legs and moving Montana Holmes from centre to her true position of goal defence, with Tianna Hogan moving to centre. These changes, along with accurate shooting left North stunned and unable to respond to Sale’s last quarter pressure.
Scores were even as the final siren sounded but a penalty had been awarded to Sale which was converted, giving it a second consecutive game in an absolute thriller, 38-37.
Gippsland put its loss from the previous week behind it by playing a clean, focused game against East Gippsland, winning 66-27 with the result never in doubt.
The short turnaround between matches took its toll on East Gippsland along with the loss of talented goaler Eliza Clark, who underwent emergency surgery on Sunday night after rupturing her achilles during the loss to Sale.
After a messy first round match, Alberton has found rhythm as it continues to take charge in its matches.
Beginning with only six players following a mishap with a missing positional bib patch, Alberton managed to outscore Mid Gippsland, who began in the same lethargic and inaccurate style as the previous week. Alberton continued to pile on the goals and although Mid Gippsland shot a perfect score in the seconnd quarter, it wasn’t getting the ball enough.
Shaping up as grand final favourite, Alberton is settling well into the competition and appeared to go through a training run on its way to defeating Mid Gippsland 55-30.
THE open division had Mid Gippsland White and North Gippsland fighting it out for their first win.Neither team was going to give up as they played for pride more than anything. North eventually won 46-39.
Gippsland was ready to redeem itself after last week’s one-goal loss to Mid Gippsland when it played Alberton.
Alberton began well, banking a four-goal lead in the first quarter. Gippsland’s goal shooter Megan Rosser shot two perfect quarters but that wasn’t enough to give her team the confidence to step it up as Alberton continued to outplay Gippsland, particularly its goal defence Caitlan Ponton who was left wandering as her athletic opposite number Therese Dalmua was just too strong.
The second consecutive win, 50-35, for Alberton after two deflating losses may be enough for it to make finals.
Churchill looked the goods for most of its match against the undefeated Mid Gippsland Green, but time spent questioning umpire calls and only patches of good play in the last quarter saw it beaten 58-45.
ON Friday night, both undefeated teams in the open division play it out. East Gippsland will be coming off the bye to challenge Mid Gippsland Green for top place on the ladder.
Churchill has the opportunity to notch-up its first win as it takes on North Gippsland.
Sale’s 17 and under team will look to make it three wins in a row when it plays the out of sorts Mid Gippsland.