Sport

Eagles were flying high again

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July 25, 2017

ECHUCA UNITED A grade has rebounded from its downfall to Moama to claim a 46-38 victory on Saturday.

The Eagles needed percentage this week against Congupna at Congupna in the Murray Netball League with an eight-goal margin doing just enough to improve their ladder standing to fourth.

The four points from Saturday has equalled them with Deniliquin, who dropped to fifth by percentage, and has widened the gap between them and sixth-placed Congupna.

The Road looked well behind the top five at the weekend, struggling to get any drive down the court which allowed the opposition to set up defensively and pick off any loose balls.

Coach Elle Florance, who has had an interrupted season through injury, was back on the court this week to steady the defence end.

She commanded her team well from GK and combined well with Amy Gledhill in GD to create several turnovers in the ring.

United made the most of its chances in the first quarter to be up by four goals at quarter time.

Florance said there were still skill errors made in bringing the ball from defence to attack, but it was an improvement from the week before.

‘‘We certainly picked up our skill errors from last week and didn’t drop our heads which was the most pleasing part,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s still a lot that needs tidying up though.

‘‘Our skill errors are continuing to let us down, but the way we kept going about our game was good (on Saturday).’’

United could’ve pushed the margin out even further had it converted on every opportunity, but small mistakes hampered its ability to stamp its authority on the scoreboard.

There was only six goals difference at half time with United leading 23-17.

A change to the mid-court in the third quarter as Tilly Keenan came on to replace Liv Bish in WD made their transition down the court easier.

It enabled them to get an easier run-on and created a lot more scoring opportunities which Sophie Atkinson and Gracie Berryman finished off under the post.

Remy Day and Breanna Bookham improved on their feeds into the ring and were patient in their passing.

The Road scored just five goals in the third quarter as United’s defensive efforts stepped up to outscore Congupna by 10 goals, creating a 16-goal lead at the final change.

‘‘Our angles around the ring worked a lot better,’’ Florance said.

‘‘Bringing the ball through the centre third was one of the best aspects of our game and our timing was on.’’

‘‘The girls really fought back hard,” she said.

‘‘Any time there was a dropped ball or bad pass we worked to get it back; and it was usually the person who made the error who got back the next turnover.

‘‘It took a while for myself to get into the game having not played for a bit.

‘‘We also used the game as an opportunity to bring on some of our junior players.’’

Florance came off in the final quarter giving Hollie Davidson the chance to make her A grade debut, stepping up from under 15s to take the court as WD while Bish had a run in GD.

The final term saw Congupna outscore the away team 13-8, but the Eagles’ third quarter effort was enough to see them across the line.

‘‘There’s still lots to work on from the game,’’ Florance said.

‘‘But it was definitely a more positive atmosphere coming off the court.’’

United was expected to have another win at home this week against the current wooden spoon holders Rumbalara who were yet to see success this year.

—Jess Gledhill

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