Defensive strength

May 25, 2018

Among all the action: Goulburn Valley's Jessie Barnes-Hill accepts the winners trophy, before being recalled to the front to be awarded the GVL's best-on-court medal.

Jessie Barnes-Hill starred in goal attack on Saturday, but her defensive pressure also contributed to her being named Goulburn Valley’s best-on-court.

Taking on the captain’s role against Ovens and Murray with Kyabram’s Lauren Pryde absent, Barnes-Hill motivated the side from the start.

Aside from her on-court encouragement, Barnes-Hill and Seymour’s Ellie O’Sullivan formed a controlled shooting partnership.

The Shepparton United star said she enjoyed working alongside O’Sullivan, who oozed composure.

‘‘She’s absolutely brilliant, she’s just so natural and calm and she can shoot those long bombs, so it was a good match-up between us,’’ Barnes-Hill said.

The captain was the game changer in the third quarter, which edged the scoreline in GV’s favour.

Barnes-Hill shot at 100 per cent adding 13 goals to her side’s total to push Goulburn Valley seven goals ahead heading into the final term.

But if it was her attack that made the win likely in the third term, her final quarter defensive presses through the middle were integral as the GV desperately tried to nullify Ovens and Murray’s momentum.

‘‘You’ve just got to (go for every ball) and in the last quarter when they’re coming back you’ve just got to throw everything at it and if you come up with something you come up with something and if you don’t, you’ll probably hit the deck, but you’ll get it next time,’’ Barnes-Hill said.

‘‘They came out firing, so did we, we knew it was going to be neck-and-neck, we got out to a bit of a lead in the third quarter, but they just came back, came back with a vengeance and we made a few mistakes, but held on and got over the line.’’

With a win to start the representative period, Barnes-Hill and the rest of her side has only one aim for the Association Championships finals day in June.

‘‘(We’ll try to) build on what we’ve done last year and we made it to the semi-finals, so one better this year (I hope),’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t think Trace (coach Tracey Brereton) will accept anything less.’’

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