Victory lifts Swans’ hopes

By Meg Saultry

It’s funny how a strong win can give a team new life.

In the case of Avenel, its 34-goal win over Longwood squares its ledger 4-4 with the club edging closer to a top-six berth.

After Avenel’s disappointing loss to Murchison last round, a win was a must as the team now sits just outside the top six through percentage only.

‘‘It was a good win, actually, it’s given us a new life,’’ A-grade coach Jacinta Jamison said.

‘‘We’re looking to finals a bit more.’’

Despite Longwood challenging in the first half, Avenel proved stronger across the four quarters to comfortably run out the match in front.

‘‘Once we settled down, we kept to our set plays that we’ve been working on,’’ Jamison said.

‘‘We really wanted to maintain our turnovers, and with every turnover, get a goal out of it.’’

It was young Sarah Nipperess who impressed the most.

‘‘Sarah played really well in centre and wing defence,’’ Jamison said.

‘‘She’s still got a lot to learn, but she’s getting better and better each week, coming up from under-17s last year.

‘‘And Nicole Lord in goal shooter was my other best.

‘‘She was consistent under the ring, with her rebounds and goals.’’

Avenel will look to replicate its form against Longwood when it faces Undera on Saturday, in what is another must-win match for the Swans.

With the Kyabram District League officially halfway through its season, Jamison said there were plenty of areas the team would continue to work on during the back half of the season.

‘‘We just want to keep jelling as a team,’’ she said.

‘‘We started from scratch this season, but we’re hoping to make top seven.

‘‘But things do happen, we’ll win some and lose some.

‘‘But it’s about learning from the losses, and working out what we can do better and how can we work together.

‘‘And how to keep the stamina up against the top teams.

‘‘We just need to keep up all the positive talk, and be behind each other.’’

But one thing Jamison does stress to her players is they should just enjoy what they are doing.

‘‘I think you play your best netball when you’re enjoying it,’’ she said.

●Avenel had a successful day on the court, winning four of its five games against Longwood.

B-grade suffered a bitter loss, going down by two shots in its match-up against the Redlegs, while C-grade won its second match of the season, 37-28.

In juniors, both Swans teams dominated, with the Under-15s thrashing Longwood 60-5 before the Under-17s followed suit for their own 65-2 victory.