For two teams that struggled in the Murray Football Netball League last year, the round one A-Grade netball clash between Cobram and Barooga loomed as important one for both sides to establish confidence for the rest of season 2018.
They both would have come away from the battle with renewed optimism for what lies ahead in the respective seasons.
Much like the senior football match, the battle of the bridge in the A-Grade netball was a thoroughly entertaining affair.
Besides Cobram getting the early jump, the Hawks quickly pegged the lead back and the contest see-sawed, going goal for goal for the majority of the encounter.
While Barooga walked away narrow losers going down 45-42, coach Taylah Hazelman said she was extremely proud of her team’s effort.
“I don’t think we played poorly at all, I was very proud of all the girls, they fought it out until the very end and unfortunately we just missed out on getting the result we were after,” Hazelman said.
With many new players landing in the Hawks’ nest this season, Hazelman said it will take time for the group to gel together and build chemistry.
“We had lots of new players in the team, many of us haven’t played together before so we were just trying to work out different combinations to see what was working but that will probably a few games before we can make set positions,” she said.
Looking ahead to their clash against Numurkah, Hazelman said the Hawks’ pressure around the court and getting a faster start would be the major things they will be focusing on most during training this week.
Barooga coach Sharra Beasley said the game was a fantastic contest.
“I think the biggest margin of the match was three or four goals. I thought their new recruit from Yarrawonga Abbey Jones really dominated. We had Lili Murphy on her which was a great learning experience for Lil,” Beasley said.
Mrs Beasley said new recruit Kate Bird was instrumental in the victory.
“Kate has come over from Tocumwal after coaching them last year and her knowledge of the game and playing ability has been huge for us,” she said.
Mrs Beasley also praised the efforts of Helen and Tessa Bruni, and credited a couple of positional changes at half time as being the catalyst for their narrow victory.
Cobram take on Echuca United next week.