Shepparton topples Bears in Deakin Derby

By Lauren Bordin

Shepparton United kept persisting, but Shepparton always found a way forward to a 13-goal victory at Deakin Reserve.

Aside from securing an intercept from Ella Sidebottom’s missed attempt at goals early in the game, the Demons never led, despite closing the margin to as little as three at half-time.

United at times showed sleek movement, but the Bears never allowed their Goulburn Valley League rivals to move away from them.

Two rising stars met with Shepparton’s Maddie Moore taking the court against Demon Elle Brooks.

Moore displayed how far she has developed and used her body to try and nullify Brooks.

While Jessie Barnes-Hill could have been used as an option to go to defence and play on Kim Commane, an early injury instead left the United star on the bench.

With a 16-9 opening term having the Bears dominate, the forced change of Sarah Bohn into goal shooter and Brooks into goal attack worked in United’s favour.

The Bears had to adapt to the changes, resulting in its buffer decreasing at half-time, but it extended out to eight goals at three-quarter-time.

At half-time, Shepparton coach Tracey Brereton implored her side to return to what it showed in the first-quarter blitz.

‘‘I think that change (Bohn into goal shooter) unsettled us a fair bit and Maddie (Moore) played goal keeper for the first half and did a really good job against Elle Brooks,’’ she said.

‘‘But Sarah Bohn is a fraction more experienced and stronger on the hold, which unsettled our defenders and it took us a little bit to keep going.’’

Morgan Gibson took on the job against Bohn, but a combination simply unbeatable was the spectacular passing from Jacinta Todd to Commane.

It looked as if the two players had been teammates for a decade as Todd found her goaler through either a perfectly weighted lob or sharp pass straight into the circle.

The Demons focused on shutting down Todd and double teamed her at centre passes, but even that was not enough to slow her down entirely.

‘‘What she can do with the ball is amazing, yesterday’s game was one of her best ones for the season in terms of ball usage,’’ Brereton said.

‘‘A lot of things have happened, she had off season surgery and had some niggles and missed games and had many challenges so to see her come out and play like that (is great).’’

United coach Di Hanslow saw positives in the game, highlighting Laura Cole for her performance in the midcourt.

‘‘We’re not going to walk away from this game and think it was a shocker by any means,’’ Hanslow said.

‘‘Laura Cole was absolutely fantastic in the centre, her drive was great and she did some fantastic defensive work.

‘‘How we sort of went down (on Saturday) was on a few basic things, a few breaks and a couple of missed goals that we would normally get and in matches like these they become four goal turnarounds.’’