Facing their toughest competition yet, the Tumbarumba Fliers seniors managed to secure a 13-goal win on Saturday against Shooting Stars 64-51.
Coming into the game, the Fliers knew it would be tough with the Stars being the next top team in the division.
Nothing short of expectations, the Fliers were soon put to the test as the first five minutes were dominated by the opposition.
Power defence duo Katie Waters and Sigrid Cottam deflected many passes into the circle giving every opportunity for conversion by shooters Charlee Blencowe and Renee Moxey.
Coming into the second term saw Bethany Pearn step into wing defence, proving an influential move to help get defensive turnovers back to the Fliers’ frontline.
Alongside Pearn in the midcourt stood coach Brigid Rhynehart and Sophie Skeers, assisting with quick feeds into the circle.
This soon saw the four-goal lead held by the Fliers extend out to 11 coming into the half time break.
Half time changeovers saw Kate DeAbel and Emily Waters step into the attacking end with Jemma Lorimer taking her place in defence.
These new changes along with some errant passes across the court saw no further lead taken by the Fliers as they once again had to find their rhythm. The third term break read 49-38 Fliers way.
The final term proved challenging as the Stars stepped up their pace leaving the Fliers flat-footed.
As injury struck precise shooter Blencowe early in the quarter, Rhynehart was left with big shoes to fill.
Cottam managed to excel in creating space on the court and being a dependable player landing her this week’s coaches award.
The final score of 64-51 proved that Stars tested the Fliers all game and will definitely be the team to watch.
Players favourite went to DeAbel for her excellent feeding into the circle and movement down court, proving that she was more than able to rise above the challenge.
Coach Rhynehart was overall happy with the Fliers’ efforts but reminded the girls that improvement is needed with every performance.
“It was good to see where we were at in terms of the competition. It was a challenging match, but an enjoyable one to still claim the win,” Rhynehart said.
“We need to be more consistent as a team. We have patches of brilliance and then resort to basic errors which we are working on improving. Saturday’s match showed that we can be beaten if not on our game.”
Rhynehart was happy her players faced a tougher challenge on Saturday, given the comfortable wins they secured in the opening two rounds of the competition.
“It was pleasing that we managed to grind out the win. We were fortunate to have a solid second quarter that set us up for the match,” she said.
“The second half was really tight and good for us to experience. Shooting Stars put pressure on us and forced us to make mistakes. We need to improve at pressure situations.
“Our shooting end was once again strong. We need to improve our combinations which will come with further match play.”
The Fliers would like to thank the umpires, scorers and supporters.