A PREMIERSHIP is the pinnacle for any netball team, but for Swifts a win will do nicely.
The Baggies’ A Grade Horsham District Football Netball League team finally shook off a monkey that has been on its back for more than three years, with a breakthrough win against Taylors Lake on Saturday.
The team’s last win had been in round one, 2011.
The Baggies did it easily in the end, breaking away to an early lead over the Lakers and holding on to win by 14 goals, 40-26.
Defenders Mel Beal and Emily Patterson were the Baggies’ best, intercepting plenty of Taylors Lake passes and rebounding strongly.
Swifts coach Kristy Yole tasted victory for the first time with the team.
She said she could not be more proud of her players.
“At the start of the game I gave our girls a speech saying our first quarters are what have let us down and put us behind the eight ball,” she said.
“I wanted us to come out and set the bar for them, rather than us chasing the whole way.”
The team did exactly that, leading 13-4 at the first change.
Yole said the team started to get nervous with the realisation it was in a winning position during the third quarter, but held steady in the crucial moments.
“We’ve been working on our court structures and set plays, and every single person on the team played their part and did their role,” she said.
“We think we’ve broken the drought now, and we’ll have fewer nerves in tight games now that we know we can do it.”Swifts coach Kristy Yole
It was an emotional day for Kaitlyn Ralph, who scored 22 goals to help lead the team to victory.
Her grandfather died last week, and the team wore black armbands in his memory.
It was just the second time Ralph has had success with the Baggies in the nine seasons she has been at the club.
Swifts netball director Deb Carey said everyone was thrilled to see the team finally break its duck.
“They just seemed to gel and got on a bit of a roll to get in front,” she said.
“Kristy and Nicole Harding seem to be improving our team each year, and we seem to build up and then lose a few players.
“This year we’ve gained a few extra players and they have done a really great job.”
Yole stressed the team would not accept another three-year stretch before its next win.
“After the game we celebrated, but not as if this is going to be our only win,” she said.
“We think we’ve broken the drought now, and we’ll have fewer nerves in tight games now that we know we can do it.”