Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Saints home by skin of teeth

Benalla has withstood a final quarter comeback by Shepparton United to clinch a thrilling one-goal victory in Goulburn Valley Netball League.

GEORGINA CAHILL June 9, 2014 3:15am

Shepparton United’s Marnie Joyce puts Benalla coach Kate Lynch under extreme pressure.


Benalla held on to claim a thrilling one-goal win over Shepparton United in Goulburn Valley Netball League on Saturday.

The Saints dominated from the opening centre pass and led second-on-the-ladder United at each break.

Trailing by eight goals at three-quarter time, the Demons clawed back to within one goal of the Saints with three minutes remaining.

Saints playing coach Kate Lynch worked tirelessly in the midcourt and wasn’t surprised her side caused the round-seven upset.

‘‘The first three quarters we did very well and we played how we wanted to do,’’ Lynch said.

‘‘We drove hard through the middle, created some opportunities in goals and were able to convert.’’

Fatigue set in for the Saints in the final quarter, but they held on to take out the four points.

‘‘In the last quarter we probably ran out of legs,’’ Lynch said. ‘‘We were a bit flat-footed I think. Instead of making two leads we made one.’’

Goulburn Valley interleague goal shooter Grace Thomas dominated for the Saints, scoring 30 of the side’s 42 goals.

In defence Grace Hide and Olivia Osborne worked tirelessly for the winning side.

Poor deliveries to goal shooters left Demons coach Di Hanslow incredibly frustrated.

‘‘I felt those who were delivering the ball were just putting balls in (to the goal circle) that didn’t need to go in then,’’ Hanslow said.

‘‘They needed a second or third movement with the ball then we would’ve opened it up.’’

Despite the pressure, goal shooter Hayley Fairless had an excellent second half for the Demons.

Fairless outscored Benalla’s Thomas in both quarters and piled on 12 goals in the final term.

Goal attack Genna Ogier was sorely missed for the Demons.

Ogier spent last week focusing on basketball at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Wing defence Marnie Joyce and goal keeper Ashley Lancaster were shining lights for the losing side.

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