Lakers storm away to a win

July 20, 2017

Nat Fletcher gets the ball in to attack for Avenel.

Vikki Bester weighs up her options as she throws in from defence.

Mackenzie Garner (WA) gets the pass in to Jess Hogan in the ring.

Laura Mundy and Sharni Hutton vie for position from a sideline throw in.

Tegan Sidebottom flicks off the pass while Rachael Mundy defends.

Nagambie centre Katie Sullivan has plenty of options to pass to.

Sharni Lloyd prepares to put up a shot, while Laura Mundy defends and Bianca Willia offers support.

Sarah Sullivan looks to pass to Biance Willis, despite pressure from Avenel’s Nat Fletcher.

Nagambie has put Avenel to the sword in a stunning 32-goal turnaround from their round one match.

When the sides met in the opening game of the season, Avenel was a runaway winner by 18 goals — albeit against an undermanned Lakers side.

In Saturday’s return bout it was the opposite story, with the Lakers taking advantage of the Swans’ extensive injury list to storm away to a 38-24 win.

‘‘Given that we lost by 18 goals in round one, we set the target to improve on that this week. Winning wasn’t a priority for us,’’ Nagambie coach Abby Misiti said.

‘‘It was great to turn that scoreline around, but we’re fully aware they were undermanned, so we won’t get ahead of ourselves knowing they have players to come back in.’’

It was a low-scoring affair, with turnovers aplenty throughout the match.

Nagambie held a slim four-goal lead by quarter time, but had blown that margin out considerably by half-time, at which point the game was more or less over.

The Lakers restricted Avenel to just seven goals in the opening two terms, and held a commanding 11-goal lead by the main break.

‘‘That tells the story right there,’’ Avenel stand-in coach Laura Mundy said.

‘‘Seven goals in a half of netball just isn’t good enough. We need to be more competitive than that.’’

In the absence of regular defender Danika Worthington, Vikki Bester pulled on the dress for the Lakers and was instrumental in restricting the Swans to the single-figure opening-half score.

The Swans clearly struggled for any ascendancy in attack, with key goalers Kate Bishop and Kathryn Hard both sidelined by injury.

Goal-attack Tegan Sidebottom was left to do the bulk of the work in goals, assisted by part-time goalers Naomi Slade and Jess Hogan, who both stepped up to the plate in the ring at various points of the match.

Hogan, the Swans’ regular wing-attack, provided height and a great feeding option for Sidebottom in the ring, and proved to be quite the headache for Nagambie’s defence.

‘‘Jess has got that wing-attack position down pat now, and she knows the movement in the ring and knows where to feed, so that probably helped her play that feeding role for Tegan,’’ Mundy said.

Up the other end, Sharni Lloyd was at her vintage best for the Lakers, working herself well around the ring and shooting with precision for the entire match.

‘‘Sharni really commanded the ball and played one of her best games for the year,’’ Misiti said.

‘‘Her and Bianca (Willis) are really starting to form a beautiful combination in goals and they seem to be getting better each week.’’

The second half was far more even between the sides, with Avenel even managing to outscore its opposition in the final stanza — something Mundy was particularly impressed with.

‘‘We might have lost, but we walked away really positive, especially with the girls winning the last quarter,’’ Mundy said.

‘‘We went in and stuck with them. We knew we couldn’t win the game by that stage, so that was a smaller win for us.’’

The final-quarter fade out from the Lakers didn’t go unnoticed by Misiti, who said it was definitely something her side needed to address coming in to the pointy end of the season.

‘‘We faded out a bit, which is something we’ve been doing a bit and something we need to probably work on coming in to finals,’’ she said.

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