LAHARUM has stamped its credentials as the Horsham District league’s A Grade netball front-runner with a win against the previously unbeaten Natimuk United at home on Saturday.
Both sides went into the clash without a loss to their names and it promised to be fiery encounter.
Two full-strength teams were fielded although the Ewes went into the game with little match-time in the past month due to byes.
The sides were evenly matched in the first quarter with the Demons leading by a goal after the term.
Laharum then pulled away in the second term with a strong defensive display for Rebecca McIntyre and Ema Iredell limiting the Ewes to six goals in the term. The Demons scored 17 to lead 28-16 at half-time.
Natimuk United outscored Laharum by three goals in the third term as the Demons dropped the pace slightly. Laharum put on some fresh legs in Ally Hiscock and Aily McAuliffe in the final term to help the side run out the game, claiming a 46-35 victory.
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Laharum co-coach Rebecca McIntyre said the Ewes applied a lot of pressure throughout the contest.
“They put a lot of pressure on our shooters and our passing into the goal ring which made our shooters play a different style of game than what they are used to,” she said.
“We like to lob the ball into our shooters (Caitlin Story and Maddi Iredell) but we couldn’t do that so we had to mix it up. I think our whole team played well and kept their heads.
“The third quarter was our worst and we rushed a lot of passes. I think we were a bit complacent with a lead and trying to make big passes that you can’t do against quality defenders.”
Natimuk United coach Cheryl Sudholz said her team was playing catch up for most of the game.
“Laharum played extremely well and us having played one game in a month definitely didn’t help our cause,” she said.
“The first quarter was very even but we just didn’t gel like we normally do. We were chasing all day and full credit to them.
“The things we normally do we just couldn’t. Laharum’s defence was awesome and I tried making a few changes to try something different but it just wasn’t our day.
“We don’t want to get complacent after winning like we have been so we just need to regroup and refocus now.”
McIntyre said her side would now focus on ensuring its performances are consistent right up to finals.
“We have to take it game by game and the fact we are on top is irrelevant at the moment,” she said.
It was a fairly close round of A Grade action, with Pimpinio edging Taylors Lake by just six goals at home.
Taylors Lake was searching for its first win of the season but the Tigers were too strong, winning 54-48.
Elsewhere, the Swifts claimed its fifth win in a Horsham District league season for the first time in recent memory, defeating Noradjuha-Quantong 43-34.
Kalkee continued its strong season accounting for the Storm 46-30, while Harrow-Balmoral was far too strong for Rupanyup winning 70-47.