Mounts stronger than expected

July 26, 2017

Heathcote's Tara Sheridan looks to pass as Jayne Norton defends on Sunday.

MOUNT Pleasant’s A grade success continued at the weekend, downing Heathcote by 49 goals in the Heathcote and District Netball League.

Mounts were easily the favourites heading into the match as third on the ladder, and had little resistance from bottom-placed Saints in handing them their 14th straight loss.

The Saints have just two chances left for a win and their next best opportunity would be against Elmore this weekend.

A two goal to 13 first quarter on Saturday at Barrack Reserve was a disappointing start.

Laura Sing and Tayla Edsall-French started the game in goals, scoring one each, but it was the resistance from outside the ring which made it difficult to convert.

Midcourters Tara Sheridan and Tyler McKeown couldn’t get the ball past the hands of Mounts who dominated the game with their defensive pressure.

‘‘Mounts came out a lot stronger than we anticipated,’’ coach Gradey McNicol said.

‘‘They had such a strong defence and we couldn’t get into our attack end.

‘‘We were covered for height in most areas of the court and where they lacked in height they had agility.

‘‘Their fitness was fantastic, they really had one step over us in every area of the game.’’

At the other end of the court, Mounts shooters Melissa Nihill and Sophie O’Shannessy used their height and brilliant accuracy to convert off every turnover.

Nihill was particularly exceptional in her long-range shooting and moved around the ring well in goal shooter.

She scored 15 goals in the second which saw Mounts biggest scoring margin of 21-5.

Tanya O’Halloran was strong on the body, but could do little to stop the high feeds into the ring.

Trailing by 27 goals at half-time with nothing to lose the coach decided to change things up, moving Edsall-French into goal keeper and O’Halloran into wing defence to create some drive down the court.

Tegan Sharp came on into goals and managed to score five for the game, but it made little difference to the end result.

Mounts were too strong, adding another 33 goals in the second half while the home side found the post just 11 more times in the 18-67 defeat.

Heathcote’s focus is on Elmore this weekend who are 1-12 this season and just as desperate to finish the year well.

‘‘We would absolutely love to finish the season with a win,’’ McNicol said.

‘‘But even it we don’t, the girls have all improved so much this season and stepped up to play good netball against oppositions who are a lot stronger than us.

‘‘Hopefully they can see some reward on Saturday with a win and if not there are still a lot of positives going for them.’’

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