Eagles slowly growing wings

By Lauren Bordin

Mansfield is making no secret of the fact it has a young list, but yet the teenagers in the team continue to consistently produce respectable performances.

Nelle Cousins is highly regarded in the Goulburn Valley League and Eagles coach Emily Hutchins has found the patch that best suits Darcy Croxford-Demasi.

Croxford-Demasi, 19, lined up against Shepparton ace Laura Ryan last week and more than held her own as she aims to do the same against Rochester tomorrow.

‘‘She’s in her first year down at uni and she’s having a cracker year, I kind of swapped her around in the first half of the year in attack and in the midcourt and then made her play in wing defence and she’s absolutely killing it,’’ Hutchins said.

With the Bears knocking over each opposition convincingly, Mansfield was solid against a side boasting much more maturity than it.

‘‘We’re pretty happy about our game against Shepparton, we tried to stay as competitive as we could and they did get over the top,’’ she said.

‘‘But we kept to our structures and coming into Rochy we only went down by 16 to them last time, so we’ll be looking to play the same kind of netball (as last week).

‘‘The team has not changed all that much since that last match (against Rochester) but considering how we’ve felt since then we’ve really focused on playing on on one and wearing down our opposition early.’’

Hutchins is hoping Dempsey Parsons will be be fit to play after the co-captain missed last week with an ankle injury.

Ellie-Rose Kipping is also making her way in the top tier after jumping up from B-grade to be play as a shooter.

A win against Rochester would give the Eagles a chance to leapfrog the Tigers into ninth position, although a difficult run home awaits if Mansfield wishes to stay there.

Linda Rasmussen’s side has also been making inroads this season, with Rochester improving in its ability to contest with those above it.