Big sigh of relief for Wombats

April 09, 2018

Putting on the breaks: Girgarre's Jacinta Turgoose takes a strong grab in the midst of a blistering lead.

I'm free: Stanhope's Lilly Holden holds front position.

Move it along: Stanhope's Chicky Barr looks to send a quick pass to Jamieson Vick.

Pressure act: Stanhope's Emily Une juggles the ball, under pressure from Girgarre's Sarah Goodsell.

Lancaster snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat to start its Kyabram District Netball League season with a bang.

One goal was the difference in its nail-biting win against Ardmona, although it was the Cats who had tasted victory in the opening round.

When the umpire signalled the end of the match, the scoreboard showed Ardmona ahead by the smallest of margins sending the home side into celebrations.

But after the scores were checked, the Wombats received the nod as the winner and began to belatedly enjoy the four points.

It was a satisfying come-from-behind win for co-coaches Bec Monk and Laura Thomson, who unveiled a new-look side.

Just three of last year’s seven again took to the court, which showed early as the Cats surged to a seven-goal lead at quarter-time.

Lancaster gradually began to claw back the margin, trailing by three at half-time and one leading into the final 15 minutes of play.

As first rounds always indicate the base game fitness players need to build, Monk had nothing but praise for Reh Collyer’s endurance.

‘‘It definitely just came down to accuracy in the ring and Reh Collyer, one of our midcourters, was really reliable and although everyone was quite fatigued at the end, she got a couple of intercepts and brought it back to our end,’’ Monk said.

Kelsey O’Neill showed strong signs in her first A-grade match with the teenager keeping her nerve.

‘‘She started in goal attack and in the last quarter she went into goal shooter and we were still down at three-quarter-time, so it was good for her,’’ Monk said.

Stanhope is a title contender on paper and flexed its muscles against Girgarre.

Romping home with a 79-16 win, Chicky Barr and Emily Une were sensational in the goal circle, keeping Kangaroos defenders Jacinta Turgoose and Sarah Goodsell on their toes.

Aided by consistent running from Jamieson Vick and Lilly Holden, Kerri Gray can expect big things from her troops.

In the grand final rematch Nagambie again took the spoils in yet another tight affair against Tallygaroopna.

Just three goals separated the two sides in the Lakers’ opening round victory to start off their premiership defence.

Violet Town’s struggles across the off-season showed in round one against Murchison-Toolamba.

With the Towners in a desperate struggle for players after an exodus to Benalla, the Grasshoppers eased past the Lions 61-12 in the opening round.

Longwood echoed its footballers with a stirring eight-goal victory against Rushworth.

Equalling last year’s games winning tally in round one, the Redlegs have already taken positive steps under Toni Watson, who is the general of a side that has not played much netball together.

In the other game, Avenel had a convincing 13-goal victory against Merrigum.

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