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    FOCUS: Warrack Eagles’ Briodi McKenzie in action against Southern Mallee Giants at the weekend. The Eagles beat the Giants 58-34. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Dimboola facing uphill battle

Dimboola faces an uphill battle to play Wimmera Netball Association finals in 2019 after a brave defeat to ladder leader Minyip-Murtoa at the weekend.

The Roos, with a 3-7 record after 10 games, have been very competitive but have little to show for it this season.

Saturday’s 44-38 loss to the Burras was a microcosm of Dimboola’s season.

The Roos, led by goal shooter Nicole Polycarpou and midcourter Rhiannon Butler, erased a three-goal quarter-time deficit to lead by a goal at the long break.

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An upset appeared to be brewing, but some deft work from the Burras’ defensive unit of Taylor Mentha, Alex Lang and Ellie McGrath held Dimboola to just three goals in the third term and Minyip-Murtoa re-established a five-goal lead.

The loss left the Roos empty handed despite yet another competitive performance, and two wins adrift of the fifth-placed Horsham Saints.

The Saints have had plenty of woes of their own this season, and slumped to a 51-39 loss to crosstown rival Horsham after keeping themselves in the game for three quarters on Sunday.

After the Demons opened up a slight lead in the first quarter the margin remained tight, standing at three goals at quarter time, four at half time and four at three quarter time.

In the last quarter the defensive work of Georgia Hiscock and the court coverage of Georgie Carberry at wing attack broke the game open for the Demons, allowing Emma Buwalda to score 11 of her game-high 36 goals.

Saints centre Ashlee Grace worked tirelessly as usual, as did Larnie Hobbs at goal keeper, but the team could not muster enough firepower to take down the Demons.

Still, with a two-game buffer over Dimboola, the Saints look likely to claim a finals spot and have shown themselves capable of winning a premiership from fifth place during the past two seasons.

Warrack Eagles are another team that appears finals-bound after a convincing 58-34 win against Southern Mallee Giants. The Giants trailed by a single goal at quarter time after a dour first term, but 11 goals to Maggie Stewart in each of the second and third quarters helped break the game wide open for the Eagles.

Giant Ruby Bowers helped keep Stewart’s partner in goals, Briodi McKenzie, relatively quiet to be named her team’s best.

The final match of round 11 saw Ararat power its way to a 58-29 win against Nhill, led by defenders Krystal Fisher and Monique Scott.

The defensive tandem of Sarah Dickinson and Julie Cook likewise shone for the Tigers, with Lauren Tink also playing well at wing attack and wing defence.

The Tigers now face Horsham Saints on their home ground at Davis Park, while Dimboola will host Ararat, Warrack Eagles are at home to Stawell and Southern Mallee Giants will travel to Horsham City Oval to face the Demons.

Top side Minyip-Murtoa has a bye.

– Colin MacGillivray

The entire July 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!