League’s best face rival at full strength

July 15, 2017

FOR THE first time in four weeks, Moama Netball Club’s A grade will have its full-strength side.

Coach Charlotte Long said she expected everyone to be at their best for a tough round against Echuca United tomorrow.

‘‘We had a really good training session on Tuesday after a bit of a rest during the bye week,’’ Long said.

‘‘The intensity is definitely still there and we’re excited for the challenge coming up.

‘‘We know it’s going to be a harder game than we’ve have in the last five weeks, but it’s these types of games we hold out for.’’

Long said the side had enjoyed playing together the whole year, but were ready to get down to the pointy end of the season.

They’re not going out expecting to win and Long said it was their want more than anything which got them across the line each week.

‘‘We tend to step up and play harder against the harder teams which is one of our strengths,’’ Long said.

‘‘We’ve got two of the toughest in the league in a row (with Tongala next).

‘‘We knew it was coming all year and worked on fine tuning what we needed to during the middle part of the season to prepare ourselves for these games.’’

Long was new to the mid-court and said she had to learn to work with Emily Taverner in driving the ball down the court.

‘‘I’ve never played in the role myself so that was a learning curve,’’ she said.

‘‘Our defence end has always worked well together, but it’s been more of a challenge finding the best combination in our attack end with so many shooters in the team.’’

Steph Watson had fully recovered from her injury to be in the side this week to have the strongest side out on the court tomorrow.

United will be looking to redeem itself from a shock loss to Tongala before the bye according to coach Elle Florance.

‘‘We were all pretty disappointed with our performance against Tongala and will be looking to improve this week,’’ Florance said.

‘‘Same as each week we’ll be aiming to produce four consistent quarters across every grade.

‘‘We can only really focus on making sure we control aspects of our game.’’

It’s dropped to fourth on the ladder four points behind Numurkah and Tongala, having previously sat as high as second, and will want to regain its top two position before the end of the season.

With a relatively easy run home following tomorrow’s game the Eagles would need to focus on reducing the margin from its 32-goal loss to the Mowers in round two to keep their percentage.

The home side has improved form from the start of the year and will need to keep improving to have any impact on the top side.

‘‘We’ll just take each week as it comes,’’ Florance said.

‘‘We’re happy with the wins we’ve had through the middle of the year and will be looking to end the year strong.

‘‘We should have our full side in (tomorrow) which wasn’t the case last time we played Moama.’’

■ TONGALA A grade is looking for another good win tomorrow after its seven-goal upset over Echuca United.

An even bigger win against Nathalia should see the Blues hold its position as second on the Murray league ladder.

They crushed the Purps by 20 goals in round two, but coach Alicia White said her players wouldn’t take the match up at Nathalia lightly.

‘‘Nathalia play quite a quick game and are a little unorthodox which can be quite hard to match up against,’’ White said.

‘‘Hopefully the week off has given our girls a chance to rejuvenate.

‘‘We’re expecting a tight contest given Nathalia’s recent form and will need to be ready to go.’’

Lisa Barnes is back to strengthen her side which White said would give the opposition more options on the court.

Serena Backman is likely to be out for Tongala who is also struggling for B grade players with only five available this week.

‘‘It definitely makes it tough, but we have plenty of depth in our C grade and under 17s we could bring up,’’ White said.

‘‘Like most weeks there’ll be a cross over between grades.

‘‘We know we have a big game coming up against Moama, but we’ll be putting our focus on this week and making sure we get the little things right before meeting those tougher teams.’’

White said they would be focused on playing their own tomorrow.

‘‘We want to be playing at our pace and making sure we get our structures right; that’s using our channels correctly, driving into the right space and putting the ball out to where players are going and not into the body.

‘‘If we can keep doing those things well we should get the results we want.’’

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