Camperdown Chronicle
Confidence high for Magpies

GRACE Lucas admits she is “pretty excited” to see what lies ahead for Camperdown’s open netball side over the closing rounds of the Hampden league season.

The Magpies are currently in the middle of a four team race with South Warrnambool, Terang Mortlake and Port Fairy for what is likely to be the last finals berth.

But Lucas is confident her side will emerge as the team that finishes fifth having landed one of the upsets of the year before the bye, defeating reigning premier Koroit by five goals.

She said that victory was a massive morale boost for her team and proved the Magpies were on the right track following inconsistent performances in the opening 10 games.

“The first half of the season was a bit of a roller coaster for everyone, we’ve certainly experienced that with some of the wins and losses we’ve had,” Lucas said.

“We’re sitting sixth with three other teams, which is very exciting to see because our team wasn’t where it was when we started, we’ve grown stronger especially after the Koroit game.

“It shows anything can happen but it does come down to the day I guess and to us mentally pushing out those four quarters because we have shown we can do it.

“We’ve got a few tough games coming up, no game is easy, but I definitely think we can make finals.”

This weekend’s matches could see ladder positions potentially change as the top four sides all face challengers sitting fifth to eighth.

The Magpies host fourth placed Warrnambool, Port Fairy meets top side Cobden, Terang Mortlake plays North Warrnambool (second) and South Warrnambool faces Koroit (third) in what will be an important round for almost every club.

Lucas is expecting a highly contested clash against the Blues, with her side keen to turn around its loss to the same opponent in round three.

She said the Magpies entered the game expecting to secure victory on that occasion but instead received “one of the biggest learning curves” for the year.

“I don’t think we really gave them much (respect) at that time and they’ve now shown over the season that they’re very much in it,” she said.

However, she said her team was not going to take the Blues as lightly this time and said their intensity levels would play a key part in determining the result.

“We spoke about it during our break that our intensity is our number one thing, that we have to be flat out from the first whistle and playing as hard we can,” Lucas said.

“We need to make sure we get the lead from the first whistle and making sure we aren’t chasing tail, we have to play smart netball and not fall into their game.”

Lucas is also hopeful she can play a key part in the contest having returned to the Magpies this year from Ballarat league club Sebastopol.

She said she “loved” being back at her home club among new and old faces after a two year hiatus and feels she is playing her part for her team each week.

“I like to think I’ve been playing a consistent game,” Lucas said.

“I don’t like to think I’ve been outstanding, but I do like to think I’ve been playing my role as has everyone else.”