SCORES: Echuca 45 d Tatura 44
Completing a day of comebacks for Echuca was the Murray Bombers’ A-grade netball side, sprinting home from a seven-goal deficit at three-quarter-time to pip Tatura 45-44.
The Bulldogs led from the start and pushed their opposition to its limit, before the Murray Bombers sneaked home, grabbing the lead inside the final minute of play.
Tatura came out on fire and built a five-goal lead at quarter-time, with Brylee Schache, Danielle Cornwell and Paigan Impey leading the way.
But even after a stellar third term helped the Dogs pinch the handy gap at the final change, the Murray Bombers kept fighting and found a way to win in the closing stages.
Not satisfied after getting out of jail in the round one thriller, Echuca coach Gina Pearson acknowledged her side had plenty to work on.
‘‘We had a huge number of turnovers with 37 — 20 of those were bad passes,’’ she said.
‘‘That’s an area we have to work on, and we only shot 65 per cent, which is nowhere near A-grade standard.
‘‘We did find lots of good combinations, and our full-court defence was really good and kept us within touch.’’
Physically the Bulldogs got the better of a young Murray Bombers line-up, but a final quarter switch turned their fortunes.
‘‘We just had the right combinations and our delivery into the circle really improved,’’ Pearson said.
‘‘We probably hadn’t coped too well with the physicality of their defence, but we changed to have Olivia Hannon at goal attack — she’s used to the physical nature.
‘‘Claudia Mawson had a good three quarters, but the physical pressure was pretty hard for her.
‘‘Tatura would be really disappointed they lost. It was an eye-opener and a reminder every team is dangerous in the league.’’
Tatura playing coach Molly Boyle could not hide her frustration with losing after playing a strong game, but found plenty of positives in the loss.
‘‘It probably was disappointing in that we were up the whole game and had a disappointing finish,’’ Boyle said.
‘‘But it’s quite exciting we were in that position in the first place against what we think will be a really good side this season.
‘‘Our attack end was all new and had a really good game. It jelled well and put us in a good position.’’
Boyle said it was more Echuca lifting in the final quarter than her side falling away that swung the game.
‘‘They had a great final quarter and the loud home crowd got them going,’’ she said.
‘‘They played their best netball in that last quarter and became really hard to stop.’’
Erin Hill, Hannon and Zara Pearson were best for Echuca, with Tamara Nicholls and Meg Rohde playing well in defence.