Echuca's Caitlyn Strachan debuted for the Melbourne Vixens on Sunday.LUKE MCMANUS March 5, 2014 4:04am
Echuca netballer Caitlyn Strachan achieved a life-long dream at the weekend.
The 26-year-old made her long-awaited debut for the Melbourne Vixens on Sunday, earning valuable court-time in her side’s ANZ Championship opener against New Zealand-based team Northern Mystics.
Strachan, promoted to the Vixens squad in August after a season on the extended bench, was handed the centre court responsibilities at three-quarter time by coach Simone McKinnis.
Strachan held her own against experienced campaigner and Silver Fern regular Laura Langman, to help guide the Vixens to a 58-35 victory at Hisense Arena.
‘‘It’s absolutely surreal. I was so excited to get on court,’’ Strachan said.
‘‘The starting seven aren’t named until just before the match and then any substitutes are obviously based around what’s happening on court.
‘‘I didn’t know until three-quarter-time that I was getting a run.’’
As Strachan was given the nod, the Vixens boasted an unassailable 19-goal lead at the final break, courtesy of strong first and third quarters.
Fellow debutante and the substituted Liz Watson had produced a stellar game mid-court while Karyn Bailey (28 from 33) shot superbly from the circle.
‘‘I was relatively calm,’’ Strachan said.
‘‘I think spending a season as a replacement player, I had confidence and knew exactly what was required.
‘‘Laura (Langman) was an extremely tough opponent. She’s a phenomenal athlete so it was a bit daunting but having the support of the entire team really helped me perform.
‘‘I really thrived in that environment.’’
The strong win elevated the Vixens to top spot on the championship ladder and they will now set their sights on a second round clash with Perth’s West Coast Fever on Sunday.
With one game now under her belt, Strachan hoped there were more to come.
‘‘I hope I get more game time,’’ Strachan said.
‘‘We have a really strong side this year and my selection will come down to the amount of work I put in at training and how we match up against different sides.
‘‘I will have my work cut out for me. Liz (Watson) and I offer different styles of play, but fingers crossed as the rounds progress I will find myself on court more and more.’’
A single-storey weatherboard house in Doyles Rd, Shepparton was gutted by fire on Saturday.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Success at the regional schools soccer competition has earned the Echuca Primary School (208) girls side a spot at state games on Wednesday.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram school students take their books to the streets, dressing up for Community Reading Day.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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