IT seems the local teams pulled the short straws in the fixture this week, both shaping up against the undefeated sides in round four of Gippsland League netball.
In horrendous conditions, Sale lost its round four match against a formidable Traralgon side.
Brimming with confidence after its round three nail-biting win over reigning premier Moe, Traralgon used its momentum to defeat the Pies 43-18.
While the notably taller and more experienced side certainly gave the young Sale side a lesson or two, the score did not accurately reflect how competitive the Pies actually were.
Traralgon named goalkeeperRamayer Gourley as its best, with midcourter Stacey O’Brien and Maddison Stockdale also making a notable impact on the court.
Goal defence Olivia Barnett, at the ripe old age of 16, ranked in Sale’s best, along with 20-year-old skipper Morgan Mayne and 19-year-old Macy Gardiner.
Other young players finding their feet are Hayley Castle, 17, Jenny Wrigglesworth, at 16, and 19-year-old Livinia Ronchi.
Coach Mel Johnston pointed out the Pies will only improve by playing against better players – and that certainly seems to be working at Sale.
MAFFRA also had no luck, as it travelled to take on Morwell on its spanking new home courts and pavilion.
In the rain, the Tigers pulled no punches to take the victory by nine goals in a low scoring affair, 37-28.
After celebrating Morwell goal defence Courtney Garth’s 200th game, both sides took a few minutes to warm up in the cold, with the Tigers inching ahead at every break.
Maffra was able to close within a goal in the third quarter, but Morwell managed to blow the victory out to a more comfortable margin in the last quarter.
While Maffra seemed to be turning the ball over well, the inability to captalise on intercepts cost the Eagles the game.
Montana Holmes was instrumental for the Eagles in defence, while Emma Allman’s unstoppable pace in centre left Morwell’s notoriously dominant midcourt trailing.
The Eagles will have plenty to work in training this week, before they face a second-placed Warragul at home.