Sport

Youth drives Murray Bombers to more success

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June 20, 2017

SATURDAY’S round nine Goulburn Valley League clash presented a good opportunity to trial even more youth at Echuca Netball Club.

Annabel Johnson stepped up to play her first full A grade game on Saturday against Seymour at Victoria Park as the sixth player under 20 years of age on the court.

She carried herself well and played a solid WA game, positioning strong on the ring and feeding the ball into her goalers superbly.

Abby Poulton tackled the role of GA for four quarters in the absence of Lisa Drysdale and combined stunningly with Olivia Hannon under the post.

She was sitting around 80 per cent in goaling accuracy to be one of the most promising parts of her game.

Even without a great deal of experience on the court the Murray Bombers ended the game nine goals in front for their fourth consecutive win, 51-42.

Coach Casey Frame said she went into the match wanting a strong start and was pleased to see the girls deliver.

They outscored the Lions by six goals in the opening quarter to be up 17-11 at the break, but their intensity seemed to drop off in the second quarter going goal for goal to be up 29-23 at half-time.

The Lions stayed in touch in the second half as the Murray Bombers couldn’t seem to pull away, scoring 22 goals to 19.

‘‘The scoreline showed the story of the game,’’ Frame said.

‘‘We came out really strong and then just took the pedal off and allowed Seymour into the game.

‘‘It wasn’t a convincing win by any means and we never really got well on top at any stage.

‘‘But the girls did what they needed to do to get across the line.’’

Meg Rohde played another explosive game in WD and her ability to jump and take strong intercepts continued to impress the coach.

‘‘She’s an incredible player to watch and only in year 10,’’ Frame said.

‘‘It’s exciting to think how good she can become if we continue to work with her and build her confidence in A grade.

‘‘She’s still learning the role of wing defence — but it’s something we’re challenging her with at trainings.’’

Frame said they would need to work on being ‘‘less patchy’’ as the season progresses if they were to continue to seriously push the top sides.

While the team benefited from a strong start it couldn’t afford to show the same complacency in the next two rounds.

They will be two of its biggest challenges yet against Shepparton United and Kyabram, who sit in the top two on the ladder.

‘‘Those games will be a good marker of where we’re sitting compared to the top teams,’’ Frame said.

‘‘We only lost by one goal to Shepparton Bears so we know we can push them. It’s just a matter of finding that belief and putting together four strong quarters.’’

Shepparton United is coming off a loss and will be looking to bounce back this week against Echuca.

—Jess Gledhill

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