Ararat Rats and Horsham Demons locked at final whistle | Wimmera Netball Association 2018

ROUND seven in the Wimmera Netball Association’s top grade saw a number of interesting results as Ararat drew with Horsham Demons while the Southern Mallee Giants upset the Horsham Saints.

Momentum shifted a number of times in the match between the Rats and Demons at Alexandra Oval before it ended 48-48.

Ararat coach Donna Spalding said she felt her side was in a strong position for most of the game.

“It was a goal-for-goal game and it was a shootout between the two goalies which we’d anticipated,” she said.

“I’m just really pleased with how our girls played – we were calm and consistent all the way down the court.

Sometimes we took the hard option rather than the easy one, but that is rectifiable.”

The Rats had established a three-goal lead at quarter-time and were ahead by one goal at half time before Horsham moved four goals in front with a quarter to play.

The home side quickly erased that deficit early in the final term as the lead changed hands multiple times throughout the quarter.

“We had our chances with the lead in the dying minutes but so did Horsham,” Spalding said.

“We won possession in defence with about 11 seconds to go but just couldn’t get it down our end to score.”

Spalding praised the efforts of goal shooter Tahnee Walker’s performance for her side.

“I think she played her best game of the season,” she said.

“She was just really strong and held her position well and shot beautifully and Tayla Borelli was also really good because she’d lost her nerve last week but it was back this week.”

Krystal Fisher and Rebecca Skrabl were also key in defence against the often dominant Emma Buwalda.

“I also think Georgia Hiscock played well coming back into Horsham’s side,” Spalding said.

“She’s the sort of player that makes you earn every possession and keeps you honest.

“Overall it was a game of clean and skilful netball – I had a lot of respect for both sides on Saturday.”

For the second-successive Saturday the Giants came from behind in order to win.

Giants coach Kimmy Shannon said her side had been within touching distance for most of the match without managing to move in front until the final quarter in the 60-55 win.

“There was only ever a couple of turnovers in it, but I’m not sure we took the lead until the last half of the final quarter,” she said.

“Once we got a couple in front we just lifted a little more, turned things around and it swung our way.”

The Saints had led by three goals at quarter-time before score were level at half-time and with a quarter to play the Giants faced a three goal deficit again.

“Each quarter we just talked about taking it 15 minutes at a time and we just kept at it,” Shannon said.

“If at the end of the day we have the win it is great and if we don’t, we know we’ve given it our all.”

She said her side’s second win of the season was evidence it would continue to improve. 

“We don’t have a team that trains together on Thursdays so Saturday is almost the only time to work on things together,” she said.

Southern Mallee goal keeper Maddelyne Shannon was crucial creating turnovers in the final-quarter win.

“Maddelyne and Trudi Hallam really turned the game for us in the last quarter because we needed to turn the ball over in defence,” coach Shannon said.

In other results Dimboola moved into the top five with a 60-42 win against Nhill while the Warrack Eagles were far too strong for Stawell in a 81-21 win.