Sport

Juggernaut is human after all

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August 08, 2017

Angela Slattery of Moama during the MFNL A grade netball match between Moama and Deniliquin Rams. Photo by Luke Hemer.

A DRAW at the weekend has left the Murray Netball League stunned.

Moama Netball Club’s A grade came dangerously close to its second defeat this season following an incredibly tough encounter with Deniliquin at Moama Recreation Reserve.

The home side is usually the front runner and has developed a skill for pushing out a leading margin.

But Moama went into the final quarter trailing by one goal and couldn’t find the win, instead having to settle for a draw at the final whistle.

The Mowers fell short under their goal post, especially in the first half as Georgia Groves was left to do majority of the shooting, scoring 38 of 42 goals for the game.

The 18-year-old showed experience beyond her years and was collected and controlled in the tight circumstances and would finish as the dominant shooter on the day.

Coach Charlotte Long said she was incredibly proud of the way Groves played.

‘‘We definitely put a lot of pressure on her to be the main goaler,’’ she said.

‘‘And she really stepped up and did a great job — she was probably one of the reasons we kept in the game.

‘‘She didn’t miss a goal in the last quarter when it really counted.’’

The absence of Steph Watson and Emilly Atkinson meant young gun Alannah Gilmore was brought into goal shooter in the second half in place of Cindy Kusli.

But a slow start had already hurt their chances.

In a first for the 2017 team they were outscored in the opening quarter and trailed 9-11 at the break.

‘‘We knew it was always going to be a tough game,’’ Long said.

‘‘Nothing was going our way, especially in the first quarter.

‘‘We came good in the second quarter and started to play well, but our goals weren’t dropping and silly mistakes let us down.

‘‘We were probably lucky to come away with a draw in the end, and we’re not disheartened by the result at all.

‘‘It’s come at the right time in making us want to play even harder and has given us the scare we need before finals.’’

Moama fought back four goals in the second quarter to lead by two at half-time (18-16).

But Deniliquin wasn’t going down easily and produced their own resistance in the third to regain the lead.

The Rams star shooter Rebecca White showed no signs of her time off and slotted flawlessly into goal attack.

Long said the opposition would have been lost without her.

She brought plenty of skill and leadership to the side, missing just three goals for the day, and combined well with goal shooter Amber Marshall both steady and calm in their approach.

An injury to Deniliquin’s Amelia Wyatt in centre in the third quarter meant Laura Biggs was moved into centre, Taylor McNamara coming on in WD.

And it seemed to make the away side even more determined as they built a three-goal lead in the fourth quarter with a minute remaining.

But Moama came to play in the dying stages of the game as everyone stepped up their game to turn the ball over.

Groves took an offensive intercept late in the game and finished off under the post to level the scores at the final whistle (42-42).

Long said they would look at ironing out individual areas of improvement in the final home and away rounds.

Watson would be a welcomed return after the bye when Moama plays Barooga away.

Long said her aggression and athleticism was greatly missed on Saturday and will be good to have back on the court.

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