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10 July 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
Many of Taylors Lake’s A Grade netballers were too young to be playing the sport competitively the last time their side won a game.
Since 2012 the club has endured a barren run, failing to win a single game and not fielding an A Grade side in 2016 before re-entering the competition in 2017.
Finally, a dam wall holding back seven years of frustration and disappointment burst at the weekend with a 22-goal thumping of Rupanyup.
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Lakers coach Gab McCulloch, who has led the side since it re-formed in 2017, said the 52-30 triumph represented years of hard work.
“For the past three years our A Grade has been full of junior players,” she said.
“We’ve got 14 year olds and lots of 16 and 17 year olds.
“It’s difficult playing 16-year-old girls against teams like Laharum and Natimuk, because they don’t have strong bodies.
“It was just a matter of them all maturing, and then some of our more mature players coming back to join the group.”
McCulloch said Grace Dixon was the sole remaining member of the 2012 team that last won an A Grade game for the Lakers and had helped provide leadership for the squad, along with Nellie Redford after both had babies.
Dixon played an excellent game against Rupanyup goal attack Olivia Huebner, holding her to 10 goals for the game.
Jorrdan Weir, one of the Lakers’ emerging young talents, starred at the other end of the court with 28 goals.
McCulloch said the entire club got to celebrate the win together.
“Tammy our president and Brendan our senior football coach brought everyone over because the football was already finished,” she said.
“I want to thank the club for sticking with me for three years while I developed this vision, because three years is a long time to keep one coach.
“This was all about the players; they do all the hard work, so it’s a big congratulations to them.
“They’ve put in the hard work and they know what is required to play and win in A Grade now.
“This is just the beginning.”
It was a tough day for Rupanyup, which was without coach and defender Kayla Woods.
The Panthers will move on to play Kalkee, which was competitive early before succumbing to Harrow-Balmoral 49-34 at the weekend.
The Kees, led by Rianna Kuhne at wing attack, were level with the Roos at quarter time before the Roos established a seven-goal lead at the main break.
Kalkee won the third quarter but was blown out in the last as Kate Vickery led a stellar Roos defence and Brittany Jane Keller netted 28 goals in attack.
Ladder-leader Natimuk United wasted little time establishing its dominance on the way to a 64-49 win against Swifts.
Playing coach Cheryl Sudholz led the side to victory at wing attack, helping set up a 60-goal game by Shannon Couch.
The Ewes will play Jeparit-Rainbow at the weekend, while the Baggies will square off with Noradjuha-Quantong as both teams compete for a finals spot.
The Bombers were no match for Laharum at the weekend, losing 67-31 behind stellar performances from bookends Maddie Iredell and Erin Mellington.
Katrina Kerr was the Bombers’ best.
Laharum will now turn its attention to Pimpinio, which produced a gallant effort against Edenhope-Apsley before eventually losing 65-52.
Saint Dulcie Shirrefs played all three defensive positions to great effect, while Lauren Bowen was Pimpinio’s best at goal keeper.
The Saints now face a unique test – Taylors Lake coming off a momentum-building win – in what should be an interesting game at Edenhope.
The entire July 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!