Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Strong competition for Echuca netballers

Echuca and District Netball Association was gallant in its performance at the 2014 Netball Victoria Association Championships.

LUKE MCMANUS July 3, 2014 3:33am

15 and under netballers. Photo submitted

Echuca and District Netball Association produced a gallant performance at the 2014 Netball Victoria Association Championships on Sunday.

Melbourne’s State Netball Hockey Centre set the scene for EDNA’s 15 and under squad to reach the competition’s semi-finals after topping the pool B ladder.

Unfortunately, the Betty McCoomb-coached team fell short (16-7) to eventual premiers and pool A ladder-leader, Altona.

‘‘The girls did really well to get to the semi finals, we were just unlucky that we copped such a strong team,’’ McCoomb said.

‘‘(Altona) seem to be tenfolds above everyone else so the girls did well against them.

‘‘They’re just a really well-drilled team that looked like they’d been playing together for quite a while.

‘‘We were close at half-time but they just capitalise on our mistakes while we couldn’t capitalise on their mistakes.

‘‘It was fantastic for regional netball here and for a small association, just to be part of the top 12 teams in the state was a great achievement.’’

The finalists recorded some impressive results during the preliminary rounds, defeating Alberton (14-8) and Parkville (12-6) to kick-off the tournament.

A hard slog confronted them against Hampden, losing (9-2), before bouncing back in a thriller against Lilydale (8-7) and a comprehensive victory against Shepparton (13-3).

The 13 and under squad, coached by Rose Buckley, bowed out of the round-robin stage after finishing fifth on the ladder in pool A.

Despite winning just one game, the girls were ultra competitive with their win coming against runners-up Hampden (11-9).

Equally as impressive was the team’s 13-all draw with premier Banyule and District, who finished the tournament without a loss.

‘‘Our toughest opposition was the weather,’’ Buckley said.

‘‘Unfortunately on the outdoor courts it was quite cold and the surface was really slippery so there were a few of our girls who took a tumble.

‘‘Beating Hampden and drawing with Banyule ... we were sort of unlucky to miss out (on finals).

‘‘We were highly competitive and given we were missing two and took just seven girls with us, that’s all we could have asked.’’

This year’s tournament marked the first year of the championships where EDNA was represented in both grades, following on from the 13 and under team’s appearance in the 2012 championships.

Both grades have enjoyed an extremely successful tournament season and qualified after winning the zones sections in Mildura last month.

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