Shepparton Swans have held on in a thrilling Goulburn Valley Netball League clash against Benalla to win by one goal.GEORGINA CAHILL June 30, 2014 3:05am
For the second time in as many weeks Shepparton Swans claimed a thrilling one-goal win, this time against rival Benalla in Goulburn Valley Netball League.
A fierce battle was inevitable on Saturday, with former Swan co-captain Grace Hide lining up against against her old club for the first time since joining the Saints this season.
In wet and windy conditions, the Swans were round 10 winners, 36-35.
Top-of-the-ladder Swans and third-placed Saints went goal-for-goal in the opening term, with the sides seven-a-piece at quarter-time.
Swans defenders Bec Dudgeon and Erin Hopkins worked tirelessly in the second quarter to deny the Saints’ shooters a chance on goal.
Despite trying conditions Annie and Liz Cobbledick capitalised in the Swans’ goals much to their playing coach Jana Bruinier’s delight.
‘‘It’s never going to be a goaler’s best day out when its blowing gale winds and I thought the girls stood up really well and I thought they worked through it,’’ Bruinier said.
The Swans got the jump in the second quarter and held a seven-goal lead at the main break.
Saints playing coach Kate Lynch moved from goal keeper to centre in the third quarter and stamped her authority on the game, helping her side to outscore the Swans 11-7.
The Swans went into the final term with a three-goal lead and despite being outscored by the Saints by two goals, they narrowly came away with a one-goal win.
While Bruinier was happy to get the four points, she said her side had areas it needed to improve in.
‘‘I think we’re just a little bit too slow at the moment to adjust to what the opposition puts out there or adjust to an umpiring decision,’’ she said.
Saint Tylah Marchbank provided plenty of drive through wing attack and centre, while Hide proved why she is one of the best defenders in the competition.
Despite the narrow loss, Lynch was happy with her young team’s performance.
‘‘I think we started off a bit slow,’’ Lynch said.
‘‘Down the attack end we weren’t really combining that well, but certainly through the second half we were able to really hold in that circle and our feeds were a lot better.’’
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