Shepparton United has stood fast to hold off a comeback from Shepparton to win the battle of Deakin Reserve by six goals in Goulburn Valley Netball League.GEORGINA CAHILL August 25, 2014 3:15am
Shepparton staged yet another comeback in Goulburn Valley Netball League.
But in Hannah Crawley and Erin McLeod’s 100th games, it was too little too late for the Bears.
A last-minute four-goal haul from Shepparton United goal attack Kate Durling ensured her side narrowly avoided a round-17 loss.
It was all United in the opening quarter when its centre court players Bree Hanslow, Kara Blizzard and Marnie Joyce fought hard to cause turnovers.
The Demons took a seven-goal lead into the first break, but their momentum did not carry.
The Bears outscored their Deakin Reserve rivals 13-11 to bridge the gap to five goals at the main break.
In a huge loss for the Bears, Lucy Teague-Neeld came off mid-quarter with a hamstring niggle.
Katie Thorn slotted into goal attack and worked well under the ring with Crawley.
Tracey Brereton’s side again dug deep in the third quarter to reduce its deficit to three goals at three-quarter time.
Turnovers were plentiful in the final quarter, but the Demons were able to steady.
Durling shot accurately to cement her side a six-goal victory.
The Demons applied immense defensive pressure and forced the Bears to work tirelessly for every pass.
Marnie Joyce was best-on-court for United and was the mastermind behind its defensive effort.
Demons coach Di Hanslow said defensive pressure was a main focus heading into the game.
‘‘We felt that was an area that we really needed to lift our intensity in, so that has been our main focus at training this week,’’ Hanslow said.
Joyce and Jacinta Todd fought hard in a physical contest in wing defence and wing attack, while Ash Lancaster gave the Bears goaler a headache or two.
Hanslow said her side gave up too much of the ball in the second and third quarters.
‘‘Just for a while there we gave up possession of the ball,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m not sure why we got so flustered because we have a really strong, mature defensive line at the moment.’’
Shepparton goal keeper Morgan Gibson limited Demons goal shooter Hayley Fairless’ opportunities to score.
Bears coach Brereton believed her side should not have gotten into a position where it was 12 goals down at one stage.
‘‘We shouldn’t have gotten ourselves in that position to start with,’’ Brereton said.
‘‘It was disappointing to be able to put ourselves in that position to start with, but at the same time it shows me how mentally tough they are to come back and have the chance to pinch it in the last four minutes when we were only one goal down.’’
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