Double comebacks seal win

May 17, 2017

Grace Egan looks to find a teammate as every pass was critical during the tight win.

Goulburn Valley League’s under-17 side made not one, but two huge comebacks during Saturday’s extra-time thriller against Ovens and Murray.

The game was forced into extra time at Wodonga after scores were locked at 44 at the end of regulation.

With a one-goal buffer when the umpire blew the whistle to signify the end of the match, GV coach Jacinta Todd was proud of her players’ resilience.

‘‘The heart was racing, it was a great win by the girls,’’ she said.

‘‘The one thing I love about players is if they just keep fighting and keep persevering as we kept telling them the results can fall their way, they just never dropped their heads and knew they could always be in it — and that’s what they did.’’

The GV did not get off to the best of starts, falling eight goals behind in the first quarter.

But positional changes made in the second quarter started to bring the GV some momentum as they gradually chipped away at the buffer.

Elle Brookes came onto the court and made a spectacular entry into the goal shooter position.

She nailed 12 goals from 13 attempts in a phenomenal effort that helped turn the eight-goal deficit at quarter-time into a two-goal lead at half-time.

Shepparton United’s Brookes continued her strong work in goals teaming with Sarah Ingram and Claudia Mawson, who rotated through the goal attack position.

The youngest member of the side, Brookes, 14, was not worried about playing against older opponents, claiming the GV’s player of the match award.

The Demon was forced to contend with some tight Ovens and Murray defence, but the GV’s cross-court pressure was its strength.

Erin Scott, Grace Egan and Dakoda Emery were among the midcourters who ensured circle defenders had time to set up structures as they slowed their opposition’s movement down the court.

But Ovens and Murray matched its opposition for pressure, doubling the GV’s score in the third term to create a six-goal lead heading into the final quarter.

It certainly was not end-to-end netball with centre pass breaks frequent, but the GV scored nine of the last 12 goals to ensure the game was sent to extra time.

Todd implored the players to push through their fatigue and ensure the hard work to draw the game was not in vain.

‘‘I just said there’s another 15 minutes and you’ve just played an hour, you’ve just got to go out there and have another crack, the game is in your hands and you’ve got to take it on from there,’’ Todd said.

Following a steal from goal keeper Bridget Byrne, the GV secured the first goal in the added time, going two up following a centre pass conversion.

But Ovens and Murray gained momentum and goaled three times in a row before the GV broke the final centre of the first period to lead by a goal.

The GV’s determination was in full display in the final period of the match as it cleaned up any mistakes.

A missed goal became a rebound for Ovens and Murray before the GV caused a held ball call in their attacking third, taking back possession to raucous cheers from the crowd.

With the scoreline 56-55 in GV’s favour at the end of the match, it completed a superb fighting display to record a deserved victory.

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