Netballers keep finals hopes alive

The defensive presence of experienced Magpie Emma Wright has played a major role in Camperdown’s continued push towards securing a top five position in recent weeks.

A STRONG team performance saw Camperdown’s open netball side claim its second Hampden league scalp in three weeks last Saturday.

The Magpies produced a stunning effort to keep their finals chances alive, defeating perennial finalist North Warrnambool by a goal at Bushfield, having downed Koroit last month.

Coach Brooke Richardson said the victory was huge for her club.

“I think especially coming off the previous week where we had the lead and then lost it was really important to hold on to the lead we had and win,” she said.

“It was just a really important win.”

Asked what the players would derive from the win, Richardson said it would give her side plenty of belief knowing that if they all pulled together for the same cause anything was possible.

“The weekend was the first time we’ve had everyone with Jess (Cameron) and Normie (Emma Wright) in the team and we were able to play a really good team game,” she said.

“If someone was tired, we could swap them knowing that whoever came on would do just as good a job for us.

“No one played for themselves, everyone played for each other and our want for it (the win) and our fight for it was huge.”

The first half was an even affair with both sides entering the main break on 17 goals apiece before the Magpies gained control.

They shot 13 goals to nine in the third term to open up a handy four goal lead at three quarter time before the Eagles made a late charge in the final 15 minutes.

They erased the Magpies’ advantage to create one of their own with the game seemingly in the balance over the final minutes, before the visitors again nudged ahead to score a 39-38 victory.

“Again that team effort and performance was massive, with two minutes to go we were a goal down but we were able to keep up the pressure to get that back and go ahead,” Richardson said.

“It was a tough game for four quarters and another positive out of it was last week we played two good quarters and two not so good quarters, whereas this week we played four consistent quarters which was exciting.”

Camperdown had numerous contributors across the court but Amanda Clark (24 goals), Wright and Grace Lucas earned the coach’s praise for their performances.

“Amanda was good in goals, they had really good defenders but she was important for us,” Richardson said.

“Emma in goal keeper played a good game, they have a good side all over the court but particularly their shooters, I don’t know how many goals Victoria Grundy shot but Emma did a good job on her.

“And Grace had a really good and hard game in the centre but it was another week where it was hard to single out best players.”

The win sets up the Magpies for another showdown this weekend, this time against Port Fairy.

Richardson said she wanted to see her side become more consistent during the contest, given they had beaten some of the teams above them but faltered against the clubs around them.

“But again the same as last week, playing four consistent quarters is important,” she said.

“We have to play for the team and for each other for 60 minutes of hard and focussed netball.

“It’ll be a huge game, they’re coming off a good win over Terang Mortlake and have been playing well lately so they’ll be coming in with a lot of confidence.

“Even though we won last time we can’t go in thinking that will happen again.”

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