Macedon (58) Won Diggers Rest (48)
We had some unexpected player changes heading into round 3. Chelsea was on a 7 day ‘break’, Katie was unavailable and Alex was a late withdrawal. With all of these changes we knew that our connections were going to take some time to adjust too but with the experience that Julia and Vanessa brought to the team, we knew we would adjust quickly.
It was obvious in the 1st quarter that we were a new combination with a massive 9 penalties in our attack, but thankfully when we did value possession, our goalers made the best use of the ball shooting 14 from 15 attempts. We were clean in defence, not attracting too much whistle and this gave us the best opportunity to win ball back and not attract an umpire’s attention. Shanae had a cracking start with 4 gains and a rebound and Hayley took 2 clean intercepts, a gain and a tip. As a team, our defence was our strength in the first quarter with 16 recoveries. We were 11 all until the last couple of minutes where we shot 3 goals in a row to take a 3 goal lead 14 -11.
By the 2nd quarter we had worked out our timing in attack and cleaned right up. We only threw 3 bad passes and cleared out centre passes with ease. Our WA stepped up and dominated with the assists and the transition ball had a clear path into our strong holding goalers. Accuracy remained a strength of ours, shooting 18 from 19 attempts. Our defence was relentless and with the hustle of pushing their attack forward our recoveries came predominately from our gains. We had 7 strong gains, 1 tip and 1 rebound. The hustle was paying off. Diggers were deprived of ball shooting 8 from 11 attempts. We had built a strong lead and were up 32 -22 going into half time.
In the 3rd quarter the errors crept back in, only this time they came from our goaling end. The physical nature of Diggers defence was talking its toll and we needed to slow the ball down and get some control back. We shot 12 from 15 attempts, adding to our 32 goals. In defence we stopped winning the ball back from our defence as it became a little predictable and we were starting to fatigue. Diggers had to work for the ball but we weren’t winning ball as much as draining time. We only recovered 4 ball in defence, while our mid court recovered 5. Diggers missed 5 shots (thankfully) because they outscored us in this quarter, shooting 13 goals. A 4 goal streak from us brought the score line back to a 9 goal difference.
We unintentionally mixed up our plays but maintained possession when attacking. Our centre passes became clunky and this affected second phase balls. Our feeds and assists came from all 4 attacking players in the last quarter, making us less predictable but we didn’t change this up intentionally, we did this out of necessity. Our goalers were worked hard by Diggers defenders and this affected our accuracy. We shot 14 from 19 attempts. In defence there was barely any whistle in the last quarter with only 5 penalties being called against us. Digger shot 13 from 17 attempts, showing that they were matching us well in the second half. Whole court defensive pressure was solid with recoveries coming from all over the court in many different ways. Diggers experienced goalers worked out our less experiences defenders and that meant our heads were turning and we had less pressure on the shot. 3 tips, 3 rebounds, 1 intercept and 4 gains, gave us the momentum we needed to hold onto the lead we worked so hard to create.
Diggers stuck with us for the whole 2nd half of the game. Lucky for us, the 10 goal lead we worked hard to get in the first half was enough to give us the win.