Clean sweep for Rats’ netballers

WNA – The Ararat Rats made it a clean sweep last Saturday in the Wimmera Netball Association, recording victory across all grades in the club’s round three fixture against Minyip/Murtoa.

A grade bounced back from a disappointing loss to Stawell with a dominant display over the Burras.

The Rats’ 65 to four victory was the biggest win of the round, as was captain Megan Shea’s 44 goal haul.

Shea said it was pleasing to see the team run the match out after falling short against the Warriors the previous week.

“During the game against Stawell it was a bit of a wake up call with our training, it was not anyone’s fault because some of the girls had other commitments and things like that, but we have started to really knuckle down and it was good to have the match against the Burras where we could get our game flowing,” she said.

Shea said Olivia West played well at wing attack and will take plenty of confidence away from her performance, while Kate Bligh was named best on court.

“Kate played in the centre and she was our standout,” she said.

“It was really good because in year’s past she might have struggled a bit to have four quarters in there but on the weekend she ran all day and obviously her fitness is up at the moment.”

Tahnee Walker also impressed with a number of key intercepts from wing defence.

Defender Rebecca Skrabl will be unavailable in the coming weeks and Shea said tomorrow’s match against Horsham Saints may be a good opportunity for her replacement, up and coming junior Tiffany Boatman, to get an early taste of A grade netball.

“I don’t know too much about the Saints this year, so we will just wait and see what happens on Saturday,” she said.

“We have always had a good rapport with the Saints and it is the ‘pink game’ this weekend so playing with the pink ball and socks and things like that always adds a bit of extra fun to the day.”

B grade notched up its first win of the season in a low scoring game, 32 to 24.

Rats’ goal keeper Hannah Cunningham used her height to her advantage, picking off many interceptions and was well supported by Hannah Miller and Danielle Borrelli, who each shared a half in goal defence.

Alice Laidlaw used her experience in the attacking end to set up opportunities and score numerous goals.

After trailing the Burras in the second and third terms Ararat was able to find some composure to pull off the win, but coach Donna Spalding said she is hoping her team plays a more settled game against Horsham Saints tomorrow.

A fantastic team effort saw the 17 and under Rats record a strong 64 goal victory against Minyip/Murtoa, 83 to 19.

The high score line indicated that it was a game for the attackers, with Tiffany Boatman (Ararat Bakery) shooting 60 goals and proving her strength was in under the ring on the rebound.

Jacqui Scott (Subway) was the other standout at wing defence, turning the ball over on several occasions, while goal keeper Justine May showed the crowd she is one tough defender not allowing her opponent one inch for the whole match.

It was a great game by all eight players in the 15 and under As win against the Burras.

Alex Antonio put into practice what had been focused on at training during the week and won many possessions to send the ball into attack.

Rachel Fratin shot accurately all match and combined well with Allison Lewis, while Emily Borrelli also played a consistent four quarters in the 33 to 10 win.

The 15 and under B team only allowed its opponent to score twice in the Rats’ 24-goal win.

Ararat was dominant across the court with all positions playing a part in the victory.

The top players were Chelsea Wilson, who had a superb game in chasing down loose balls, while Molly Ganley shot well under enormous pressure.

Ararat jumped to an early lead in the 13 and under match, with the Rats holding a 10-goal buffer at the first break.

It was a great defensive game with Ella Carlyle at goal keeper combining well with Monique Scott at goal defence.

With Dannielle Spalding at wing defence the Rats have formed a tall defensive line which is starting to work well together.

Spalding was a standout, getting her hands to a lot of Burras’ passes and provided plenty of drive down the court.

Abbie Moar had a quarter at goal shooter after running in the centre and kept Ararat’s momentum going, passing well to team mate Tayla Borrelli.

In the end the Rats recorded a comfortable 43 to 10 win.

Megan Shea and Kate Bligh in action for the Ararat Rats.

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