Horsham Saints move into preliminary finals

HORSHAM Saints kept to its game plan when it hit the court with full force against Warrack Eagles in Ararat on Sunday. 

The Saints defeated Warrack Eagles, 51 goals to 45. 

The first quarter had the Eagles stray from its usual combinations as they searched for the right match ups. 

Horsham Saints coach Jess Cannane said she expected the Eagles to make changes, however, not at the start of the game. 

“It took us a couple of minutes to get use to but our girls stuck to our game plan and secured a nice lead coming into quarter time,” she said.

The end of the first quarter had the Saints up by nine goals, 17 to 8. 

Warrack Eagles co-coach Sarah Spicer said finding the right combination to match up against the Saints’ taller players took time. 

“It took us a half to get use to playing against their taller players,” she said.

“To their credit they put in a solid four quarters where as we only managed a half of netball.” 

Nearing half time, the Saints key defender Rene Caris injured her ankle. 

The scoreboard read, 33 to 22 with Horsham Saints claiming the 11 goal lead. 

Cannane said Caris’ injury required the team to make defensive changes coming into the third quarter. 

“It did not seem to have an effect on the scoreboard, but it changed a few combinations and links,” she said.

“The changes did not make it easy to intercept balls and capitalise on those opportunities.”

Spicer said the Eagles started to find its rhythm in the third quarter as the team settled into the combinations.

“When we finally settled into the positions, we were right there with Horsham Saints,” she said.  

The third quarter had the Eagles narrow the Saints lead to eight goals. 

The scoreboard read, 41 to 33 in the third quarter with the Saints maintaining its lead. 

Cannane said Caris was right to play her normal position in the final quarter.

The Eagles put up a strong fight in the final quarter where the team managed to even the scoreboard. 

Cannane said the Eagles wing attack Emma Koschitzke and centre Penny Fisher were influential in levelling the lead.

“At some stage we were level in the last quarter, but we managed to settle back down in our groove and come out with a win,” she said.  Spicer said the last quarter showed a great effort by the girls. 

“We got the score to even and the girls never gave up, but it was little bit too late to secure the win,” she said. 

The final scoreboard had the Saints in front, 51 to 45 goals. 

Horsham Saints’ centre Ashlee Grace was named best on court. Cannane said Grace stepped up to the challenge in shutting down the Eagles’ Koschitzke. 

Koschitzke received best player for her team.