Central Highlands Netball League’s senior interleague team enjoyed an emphatic 32-point victory over Southern Football Netball League at Lyndhurst on Saturday as part of the Worksafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.
The squad extended its lead at every break and had an impressive 24-goal final quarter to cap off the win.
The final score was 71 goals to 39.
Central Highlands coach Jordan O’Keefe said while his players started the game with a few nerves against an unknown opposition that had some height, they quickly settled into the game.
“By quarter time we had a nice lead and the girls were actually quite relaxed, so we just revisited the messages from the week before about playing our style of game,” O’Keefe said.
Goal shooter Jordyn Bibby (Beaufort) had a huge role in the team’s success, shooting 60 of the Central Highlands’ 71 goals, and was awarded best on court for her efforts.
“She had a magnificent day and she worked really well with our goal attacks Eleisha Phelps and Laura Tonkin, who was in there for a quarter,” O’Keefe said.
“Jordyn shot at a very high percentage as well – at about 95 per cent.”
Other top performances included captain Kelly Conroy (Springbank) and Katelyn Sutton (Learmonth) in the centre, who were both instrumental in setting up play and driving the ball into the goal third.
“Both of those girls played full games on the court so they were invaluable in regards to that experience out there for the team,” O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe said he was pleased with the squad’s patience in working the ball out of defence as well as its ability to find the easiest passage to deliver to Bibby.
“Coming out of defence we weren’t trying to rush the ball down court, we were very patient in how we executed and that was reflected on the scoreboard,” he said.
“We had a couple of different combinations played through defence and each was just as effective as the other.”
O’Keefe said each girl stood up and played her role.
“We really didn’t have any weaknesses in our links yesterday and that was an even better thing to take away from such a big win,” he said.
For Conroy the victory was all the more sweet after captaining a losing side last year.
O’Keefe said the triumph would “inject a bit more of a spark” in interest for the interleague team next year.
After gelling so well as a team, O’Keefe said the only disappointment came from the girls knowing they would not be able to play another match together and hoped this would change.
“Those players involved would be very keen to have more opportunities to play interleague matches against other leagues throughout the year,” O’Keefe said.