Magpies drop crucial game

Chelsea Baker began in defence before moving to her more regular midcourt role against Terang Mortlake.

CAMPERDOWN’S Hampden league open netball finals chances took a hit last Saturday, with the Magpies falling to fellow top five hopeful Terang Mortlake.

The two sides played out a highly contested and physical affair at Terang Recreation Reserve, with the home side producing a second half surge to storm to a 49-37 victory.

Coach Brooke Richardson said the loss was very disappointing for her side, which blooded a new combination for the encounter.

The Magpies hit the court with a different line-up as Tracey Baker joined daughters Chelsea and Krystal in the starting seven, while Sophie Swayn made her open debut in the absence of Jess Cameron.

The changes had a positive effect early in the contest with the Magpies controlling the scoreboard throughout the opening term before the Bloods levelled the scores at half-time.

The home side established a two-goal lead by three quarter time, before surging away in the final term as the Magpies faltered.

Richardson said it was disappointing that her side could not finish the match strongly, but admitted she was partly at fault for the fade-out.

“To let them run away with it is the hardest part I think and I take responsibility for that in terms of the changes that needed to be made,” she said.

“I should have changed a few things heading into the last quarter, but in the end it looked like they were harder at the ball.

“We were within one or two in the last quarter and then they went and we just watched them (get away) instead of regrouping.”

The loss was a golden chance missed by the Magpies to cement itself inside the top five, but instead they surrendered their position to the Bloods.

The Magpies fell two spots to seventh as Terang Mortlake moved four points clear in fifth, while South Warrnambool rose to sixth despite losing to Port Fairy.

The Seagulls joined the Magpies and Roosters among the chasing pack seeking the last berth in this year’s finals.

“We could have won so it was disappointing, but fortunately for us it’s just Terang Mortlake ahead of us (on points) because South Warrnambool lost their match,” Richardson said.

“Now it’s us, South and Port Fairy all on the same points, so we’re going to have to win the games people don’t think we’re going to if we’re going to get our toe in the door.”

The Magpies will get an opportunity to prove Richardson’s point, with a clash against reigning premier Koroit awaiting them tomorrow.

While many will tip the highly fancied Saints to win the encounter, Richardson is confident her side can come away with victory.

However, the Magpie mentor said her side has “to play four strong quarters” if they were to do so against a “really good” Saints outfit.

“I think I say that every week, but we really have to do that this week,” Richardson said.

In the other matches last weekend, division one lost 39-23, division two went down 41-34 and division three won 28-27.

The 17 and under side was defeated 43-23, the 15 and under team triumphed 46-23 and the 13 and under outfit was beaten 41-25.

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