SALE couldn’t keep up with a well-drilled Leongatha side in Gippsland League netball, going down 51-31 on Saturday.
Wild, windy and wintry conditions at Sale weren’t a problem for the visitors, who hit their straps early with relentless defensive pressure.
The Parrots’ best-on-court Kayla Redpath in goal defence, wing defence Lauren Redpath and centre Nicola Marriott made it difficult for Sale’s attackers to get to the circle edge.
While Sale showed some signs of life in the final term, winning the quarter 11-10, it wasn’t enough to put the Magpies back in the game.
Young players Liv Barnett in goal defence and Jenny Wrigglesworth in goal attack, as well as captain Morgan Mayne in midcourt, were Sale’s best for the day.
Sale will travel to Wonthaggi this weekend, in a match it should be able to secure – although, the Power will be hungry for its first win of the season with two rounds to go.
MAFFRA showed signs of promise, but it was Moe that came away with the round 16 goods, winning 55-41.
The hail held off for A grade, unlike B grade, where play was abandoned because of the heightened risk of slipping and grazing off an entire limb on the asphalt.
In the first quarter, the Lions got out to a 10-goal headstart, but the Eagles managed to stem their momentum in the second to bring it back to a two-goal margin at half-time.
Maffra seemed to battle with the wet conditions more – losing Alex Gallatly to a knee injury in the second quarter, while multiple Eagles hit the deck in more minor accidents across the four quarters.
Poor conditions made for some uninspired netball from both sides, as players showed reluctance to put their foot on the accelerator.
Moe’s court attendants were able to squeegee the courts in bursts, while the ball was up the other end.
The Lions managed to find their feet first, and ramped up defensive pressure to force turnovers in the Eagles’ goal ring.
Maffra had its moments going forward – particularly in the form of skipper Emma Allman, who, despite all odds, thrived in the wet conditions – but lapsed enough to give Moe an unrecoverable lead in the final term.
Maffra seems likely to finish out the 2019 season in sixth place, as it did in 2018.
IN other matches, Traralgon defeated Warragul 47-40, Morwell won at Drouin 58-40, and Bairnsdale defeated Wonthaggi 55-47.