Nagambie coach Abby Misiti is looking at the positives after her side’s shock loss to Stanhope on Saturday — only the Lakers’ second defeat for the season.
Just a week after they comprehensively toppled the previously unbeaten Avenel, the Lakers were humbled by Stanhope, going down by 13 goals.
‘‘It’s a little bit disappointing, but it gives us something to work on prior to finals, and a loss won’t hurt us,’’ Misiti said.
‘‘We were probably cruising along a bit but the loss has opened up our eyes and the girls are still really positive.’’
The game wasn’t necessarily as one-sided as the scoreline suggests, with the two sides neck-and-neck for the majority of the game.
The Lions took the opening term 9-7, while it was relatively even in the second and third quarters.
But it was the final term that proved telling.
Nagambie trailed by just three goals at the final change, but a disastrous fourth quarter saw Stanhope outscore the Lakers 16-6 to record the convincing win.
Misiti credited Stanhope’s watertight defence, which all but shut down Nagambie’s usually prolific goaling duo of Sharni Lloyd and Bianca Willis.
‘‘In the first quarter we had about 10 turnovers that we didn’t convert, so we could have had quite a nice lead by quarter-time — but it wasn’t to be,’’ Misiti said.
‘‘We need to take opportunities like that, our goalers need to take their chances and convert.’’
Nagambie sorely missed Vikki Bester, who was dominant in defence in the Lakers’ big win over Avenel the week prior.
The Lakers struggled to find an answer for Stanhope’s lofty goal shooter, who was supreme in the winner’s goal ring.
‘‘We expected a tough game, Stanhope had won seven or eight games in a row and were on the up as they fight for that top six spot,’’ Misiti said.
‘‘They were a good defensive side and they just shut down our drive into attack, and our girls were quite flat, they were nothing like the week before against Avenel.
‘‘But all credit to them, they had done their homework and had an answer to everything.’’
It was the fourth consecutive week that Nagambie has lost the fourth quarter of the game, and Misiti said it was definitely something that needed to be addressed as the finals draw nearer.
But she doesn’t put the blame entirely on her charges; Misiti said she made some changes at three-quarter-time that may have played a part in her side’s downfall.
‘‘It might be the changes I’m making and the rotations I did on Saturday just didn’t work,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m still not 100 per cent sure on what our best combination is, and I’m probably not leaving the girls to get settled for long enough.’’
Nagambie has slipped to third spot on the ladder after the loss, trailing second-placed Tallygaroopna by percentage only.
Score: Stanhope 43 d Nagambie 30.
Nagambie made a great start to the game, with the girls taking a six-goal lead into quarter-time.
A strong mid-court saw the Lakers dominate over the Lions with great pressure all over the court, and with the support of accurate shooting from Rylee and Bree, the girls came away with a good win.
Awards went to Lucy Zotti and Rylee Alderton.
Score: Stanhope 32 lt Nagambie 46.
Going into the match, C-grade knew it was coming up against an improved Stanhope side, and with a few players out, it was always going to be a great test for our girls.
After a closely contested first quarter the girls started to settle.
Some great passages of play in the attack helped Nagambie maintain its comfortable lead.
Well done to all defenders, who created many opportunities for the attackers.
The inclusion of Tasman really opened up the attack, which was lovely to watch.
Awards went to Jackie Drayton and Sarah Heathcote.
Score: Stanhope 26 lt Nagambie 42.
I was an unfortunate loss for the Lakers.
Stanhope came with a stronger, louder team than at the beginning of the year.
The girls worked extremely hard all game but unfortunately gave away too many turnovers, playing right into Stanhope’s hands and giving the Lions a three-goal victory.
Awards went to Alicia McLeod and Maddison Biggs.
Score: Stanhope 37 d Nagambie 34.
The Lakers got off to a slow start once again.
By the second quarter the girls began to settle into the game and show what they are capable of.
Mik, Ada, Bree and Shae used their feet to move around their players to create lots of turnovers.
Millee flew through the air intercepting all over the place, while there was some beautiful goaling by Sarah, Sophie and Mia.
Awards went to Sophie Moore and Millee Thomson.
Score: Stanhope 21 lt Nagambie 36
— Lower grade reports supplied by Nagambie FNC