PICOLA United A grade went down by 29 goals to the Picola and District Netball League’s reigning premier on the weekend.
Tocumwal hosted the round fie clash and went into the game as red hot favourites coming off a dominant season prior and being undefeated for 2017.
The Bloods have seen wins over Strathmerton, Berrigan and Jerilderie to assert themselves as the team to beat and with five A grade players out this week the challenge was well and truly set for United.
Penelope Langley and Danielle Mahncke were both still injured, another two were away and one player didn’t turn up for the game.
In the end Tocumwal proved too strong for United who are sitting on just two wins following the 34-63 defeat on Saturday, but Leesa Hoopell said as coach she was pleased to see the girls go out and give the game a good try.
‘‘We had a couple of young juniors step up from the under 17s to play a full game in each grade and some B graders also came up,’’ Hoopell said.
‘‘Tocumwal are a well-oiled machine and really showed that (on Saturday).
‘‘At the end of the day I’m proud of the girls and the way they played and for those A graders who did play it was a much improved performance from last week against Jerilderie.’’
Hoopell said the team couldn’t gel against the Demons in round four and performed better this week.
But they lacked the manpower and depth to create any real concern for the Bloods especially through the mid-court without Langley.
United has been competitive against most teams this season having endured only one other significant loss against Strathmerton by 19 goals at the start of the year.
The team struggled to settle into its combinations at the start of the season and looked to have found its form in round three with a win over Berrigan before letting Jerilderie get the better of it last week.
And while Picola would have liked to have put more early wins on the board it was always going to be a difficult ask against Tocumwal.
They were only down by 10 at half-time but Hoopell said the wheels came off in the second half and Tocumwal was able to run out the game.
She looked forward to having two weeks off to work on basic skills and the team’s ability to gel.
‘‘Blighty will be another tough game when we come back,’’ Hoopell said.
‘‘Jacinda Barnes is out that week and will be greatly missed in our mid-court.
‘‘Blighty is a quality side but we will try our hardest against them and go in to the game with nothing to lose.’’