HDFNL | Bloods hold off Hawks while A-grade netball juggernaut rolls on
Elmore has strung together two consecutive wins to draw within a game of the Heathcote League top five after a 19-point win over Huntly at the weekend.
The Bloods held their nerve in a tense fourth quarter to run away with a 13.9 (87) to 10.8 (68) win, notching back-to-back wins for the first time since round six last year.
Holding a two-goal advantage at quarter-time, Elmore skipped away to a 30-point lead in the second after keeping Huntly goalless, and at the main break and at three-quarter time held a 32-point buffer.
However, the winless Hawks staged a late surge to draw within 11 points in a dramatic final quarter, but the Bloods managed to keep Huntly at bay to secure its second win.
Elmore co-coach Dylan Friedberger suspected the Hawks would push his side, and was pleased to see the Bloods keep their composure.
“Huntly was going to be the side with some handy guys in their team to really push us and show us where we were as a team,” Friedberger said.
“I don’t think Huntly should be where they were, they are a very competitive outfit.
“We managed to compose ourselves and learn how to win, and we stuck to playing four quarters of football.”
Darcy Laffy’s recent run of form in front of the goals continued with four against Huntly, while Zach Laffy and Regan Williams down back drew praise from Friedberger for their performance.
Huntly ruck Mitch Christensen booted three goals and was judged the Hawks’ best, with Jayden Cordy and Jay McDonald also prominent.
Elmore’s recent form has been helped by the form of Darcy Laffy, who has staged a mid-season revival to boot 23 goals from his past four games.
Laffy’s haul against the Hawks and two eight-goal hauls in recent weeks was built on the back of some “stern” chats after a lean period to start the season, according to his coach.
“We had some pretty stern chats after round five,” Friedberger said.
“He knew where he was at and where he could get to.
“He’s turned the ship from there, and as we can see when he’s firing up there our small forwards manage to get in front of him and midfielders are running both ways.”
Elmore’s second win of the year sees it retain seventh spot on the HDFL ladder, one game behind White Hills (sixth) and Heathcote (fifth), leaving it squarely in the finals frame with the season nearly at its halfway mark.
But the Bloods will be tested this week with a match-up against competition heavyweights Lockington-Bamawm United away in round nine.
“We really want to string together that four quarters of football,” Friedberger said.
“They’ve been the perennial side for two years, and this weekend they’ll be fired up coming off a loss.
“We’re just going to be ready for the juggernaut to come at us - everyone bleeds.”
Elmore: 5.3, 8.4, 11.6, 13.9 (87)
Huntly: 3.3, 3.4, 6.4, 10.8 (68)
Elmore: Darcy Laffy 4, Kyle Armstrong, Mitch Carson, Sebastian De Napoli, Harrison Grant, Liam Gundry, Nicholas Kellow, Sam Lees, Sam McHale
Huntly: Mitch Christensen 3, Luke Gray 2, Mitch Billings, Jayden Cordy, Jayden Cowling, Jake Maher, Jye Moon
Elmore: Zachary Laffy, Regan Williams, Kyle Armstrong, Dylan Gordon, Player, Zack Holmberg
Huntly: Mitchell Christensen, Jayden Cordy, Jay McDonald, George Chamouras, Jake Maher, Stacy Fiske
Elmore win eighth straight game
On the netball courts, Elmore’s own juggernaut kept its unbeaten run intact.
The Blood’s A-grade side flexed its muscle with a 37-goal victory over Huntly, improving its record to 8-0.
Elmore has been the form side of the HDNL in season 2022, and after the 73-36 win over the Hawks the Bloods have moved two games clear atop the ladder.
Led by Gabe Richards and Allira Holmes, the Bloods have been close to faultless this season, and shape as an undeniable flag favourite.
Elmore travels to LBU this weekend to face the rising Cats, who have strung together a 3-4 record to date in their push for finals.