Thirteen a lucky margin

September 26, 2017

Lucy Bird of Tongala during the MFNL 13 and under netball grand final between Tongala and Echuca United. Photo by Luke Hemer.

TONGALA has claimed the 13-and-under Murray Netball League grand final after downing Echuca United by 13 goals at Mercury Sports Complex on Saturday.

The teams had been evenly matched all season and it looked to be another tight contest with Tongala up by just three goals at quarter-time.

But the Blues eventually pulled away, making the most of their chances to build an eight-goal lead at half-time, 20-12.

They used to height of Lilly Waasdorp to their advantage at goal shooter with United’s Georgia Davidson unable to match her for rebounds.

She combined superbly with player of the final Alyssa Trebilcock to create space under the post and both finished off with accurate shooting.

Davidson was moved into goal defence at half-time which created more drive down the court and the whole team combined better to be down by just four goals at the final change, 24-28.

Tongala finished the game stronger, outscoring the Eagles 12 goals to three in the final term for the 40-27 victory.

Lucy Bird passed the ball well at wing attack and drove hard to the ball to always be an option down the court.

Eagles coach Sheridan Wagner said the Blues had been a tough opponent this year.

‘‘We thought we might have had them in that third quarter,’’ Wagner said.

‘‘It’s been a tough tussle between us and was another good game today.’’

Asha Gray was a stand out for United at goal attack having played a major part in getting her side back into the game in the third quarter.

Tongala coach Rhiannon Payne couldn’t have been prouder of her team and the way they played.

‘‘We knew it would be tough against Echuca, but the girls have worked hard all season and earned the win today,’’ she said.

—Jess Gledhill

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