CASTERTON SANDFORD 49 d/w WEST GAMBIER 49
CASTERTON Sandford will rue the one that got away, while West Gambier will be breathing a sigh of relief they managed to escape with a draw in round two of Western Border netball on Saturday.
Missing coach and star goaler Lisa McGregor, the Roos always knew the Cats would throw up a serious challenge and ironically, while McGregor’s on-court leadership and her key role in transition was clearly missed, her replacement – young star Sarah Ritter – was arguably West’s best on her A Grade debut in goal attack.
The match, which ended in a 49-all draw, was a defensive stoush, with plenty of pressure applied by both sides and was it not for the accuracy of the respective goalers, it would have been an even lower scoring contest.
Turnovers were plentiful for both sides, mainly created in the centre third, as both were able to find their goalers in space once hitting the circle’s edge.
The Cats led at every change except when it mattered – at the final whistle – and they enjoyed a seven-goal margin heading into the last qurater.
It took until the final few minutes, but the Roos were able to claw their way back for the draw and, in fact, had two chances to score the winner.
Some basic ball handling errors from the Cats in the dying minutes, combined with West ensuring they scored every turnover, saw the match slip from Casterton Sandford’s grasp.
The two defensive line-ups were again influential, with the Roos’ Maddy Teakle again critical, as well as Amy Cram, who is the general of the defensive set up.
Marlee Gartlan and Sharna Fidler look to be forming a good connection in the defensive circle, while Scarlett Jarrad, having been the Cats’ best in round one, was again her side’s best player, denying the Roos easy access to the circle’s edge and driving hard through the mid court.
West did make a change at half time, moving Emily Hunter to the defensive wing and experienced campaigner Carly Trevilyan into the middle, but in the end the Roos will eagerly await the return of McGregor for the round three clash with South Gambier.