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23 June 2021
The entire June 23, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Several Horsham District A Grade teams will be desperate for wins this week as they try to stay in or break into the top six.
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Fifth-placed Kalkee will travel to Stawell to take on Swifts, which is sitting seventh but only four points in arrears.
Jeparit-Rainbow will need to pull out all stops to maintain its hold on sixth position, if Natimuk United’s performance against Laharum is anything to go by.
The Rams and Demons last met in the 2019 grand final and there is clearly no love lost between them.
The Rams, who went into the match with a 3-3 win-loss ratio, took it up to the undefeated Demons early, trailing by five goals at quarter time and four at the long break.
The Demons’ depth and defensive pressure helped the visitors pull away in the second half to win by 19 goals, 48-29.
Laharum newcomers Liv Jones, centre, and defender Faith McKenzie won accolades for the Demons, both playing key roles and remaining calm and collected despite the intense environment.
Natimuk United was best served by Danielle Hanson in goals and the midcourt, and consistent wing attack Cheryl Sudholz.
The Rams will take confidence from giving the Demons a run for their money into this week’s clash with the Storm.
The Storm is coming off a good win over Swifts, 60-47, and will want to continue that momentum and march up the ladder.
Goal attack Breanna Eastick, 36 goals, was a standout against Swifts and will enjoy a good battle with Jo Taylor this week, while Storm defender Penny Fisher, who always plays a pivotal role, will get the job of shutting down the Rams’ goalies.
This match should be a close one, although Natimuk United’s experience might just get the side over the line.
Swifts and Kalkee could also be in for a thriller, with some even match-ups across the court.
Michaela Armer shot 30 goals in a best-on-court performance for the Baggies last week, while Edwina Flakemore shone in goal defence.
The Kees have newcomer Lucy Brand, 39 goals, and defender Katie Ruwoldt in good touch and there should be plenty of good battles on the court on Saturday.
The Kees are probably favoured to get the job done and remain in the hunt for finals, but Swifts will not make it easy.
Two other teams jostling for ladder positions are third-placed Kaniva-
Leeor United and fourth-placed Noradjuha-Quantong. Both sit on 24 points with only one loss for the season, with the winner of the match to secure third spot with a four-point buffer.
The encounter is another opportunity for the Cougars to show how strong they are against another top side – they do not meet Laharum until round 11.
Elizabeth Hawker, regularly among Kaniva-Leeor’s standouts, will have her work cut out against tall Bombers goalie Shannon Couch, while Nikki Hawker and Hailee Witmitz will come up against defenders including Louisa Vague and Brooke Pay, who created headaches for Rupanyup’s goalies last week.
It should be a cracking contest.
The Bombers defeated the Panthers by 45 goals, 63-18, at home.
Life will not get any easier for Rupanyup this week when it hosts Laharum.
In the final match of the round, second-placed Harrow-Balmoral, fresh from a week off with a bye, will meet Edenhope-Apsley, 10th.
The Saints struggled against Kalkee last week, going down 61-23. Defenders Georgia Baxter and Dulcie Shirrefs stood tall but will come up against the Southern Roos’ formidable attacking end.
Pimpinio, whose juniors continue to step up each week despite whatever is thrown at them, has a bye.
Results: Kalkee d Edenhope-Apsley 61-23, Laharum d Natimuk United 48-29, Noradjuha-Quantong d Rupanyup 63-18, Jeparit-Rainbow d Swifts 60-47, Kaniva-Leeor United d Pimpinio 74-28.