AN inability to maintain a strong start and finish proved costly in Camperdown’s open grade Hampden netball loss to Warrnambool last Saturday.
The Magpies played strongly in the first and last quarters but fell away in the middle periods of their 34-30 loss to the Blues at Mahony’s Transport Leura Oval.
Coach Brooke Richardson said it was a tough loss to swallow given their promising start.
“We had a really good start and finish but we just let ourselves down in the second and third quarters,” she said.
“I feel it is the same thing I am saying every time, that we can’t afford to not to play four strong quarters each week, because that’s what let us down on Saturday.”
After bursting out of the blocks to hold a seven goal lead at the first change, the Magpies fell away in the second quarter as the Blues lifted their intensity.
The visitors were able to quickly erase the home side’s advantage and established their own, which they then held for the remainder of the contest.
Richardson said the Magpies crumbled under the Blues’ intimidating approach in the game’s middle quarters, which allowed the visitors to take control.
“They really lifted their intensity and I’m not sure of the right word but they were very much in our faces, they were very physical and loud on the court,” she said.
“We probably should have done the same but we didn’t, we probably just let that get to us a little bit more than we should have.”
On the flip side, Richardson said she was pleased with her side’s effort in the quarters they played well but again lamented an inability to sustain it.
“Starting the game really strongly is something we’ve been able to do well all year but it’s just sustaining that and lifting when we need to that hurts us,” she said.
“But we had some great flows of play from one end to other in the first quarter and our pressure was also really good in those two quarters.”
Richardson said young trio Caitlin Hall, Grace Lucas and Krystal Baker were the side’s standout performers in the defeat.
“Caity played a really strong game at wing defence, she was always a steady option for our attackers and played a really strong defensive game,” she said.
“Grace had a tough day at the office, she played wing attack and had a physical opponent but did very well to bounce off that pressure and keep going.
“And Krystal was good in attack and shot very well from her opportunities.”
The loss left Camperdown in seventh position on the ladder, four points adrift of the top five ahead of a trip to North Warrnambool to face the second placed Eagles tomorrow.
The Magpies will be boosted by the return of Jess Cameron, who has missed the past three games due to an overseas trip, with Richardson excited to have her back at her disposal.
She said her inclusion gives the side greater flexibility on the court, but added the Magpies need to produce a consistent performance to down the highly fancied Eagles.
“I feel that we have a lot of options up our sleeve now with Jess back, she is very versatile and can play anywhere on the court,” Richardson said.
“That is something we might look at doing now with Normie (Emma Wright) back, it allows us to try different things up the court.
“We have to play four strong quarters and we’ll make any changes we need to quicker.
“We can’t afford to wait and see how things go particularly with Terang Mortlake now a game up.”