Swans’ defence holds for win

By Gus McCubbing

Avenel 47 def Girgarre 15

Avenel collected its fourth win of the season against Girgarre on Saturday, with yet another dominant showing in defence.

But despite the 32-goal margin, playing coach Kelly Smith said something was amiss in the first quarter.

‘‘It was a strong game in the end and a good scoreline, but the first quarter was a tad worrying — we didn’t come out as strong as we normally do and I’m not exactly sure why,’’ Smith said.

‘‘Making some changes at quarter-time helped, but I think it was just a slow start for us. After that we took off, which was good to see.’’

The Swans were bolstered by the return of two former players, Tegan Sidebottom and Ros Rutherford, with Smith heaping praise on her defenders.

‘‘Sarah Brock, Rebecca Bath and Ros were outstanding,’’ she said.

‘‘When the ball went down Girgarre’s attacking end, they just shut it down.’’

Now one of only two undefeated sides in the Kyabram District Netball League — Nagambie has a 3-0 record — the Swans face Tallygaroopna this weekend.

Avenel sits on top of the table with a whopping percentage of 213.64 and claims to the best defence in the league, with only 88 goals scored against. But the Redlegs are snapping at their heels in third and Smith said the clash shaped up as a major challenge for her side.

‘‘I think it’s going to be a tough one for us — it’s going to be the first real test of where we’re sitting,’’ she said.

‘‘‘Tally will be tough, as they always have been in the last three or four seasons.’’

C-grade & U17

Avenel’s C-grade side was defeated by Girgarre 22 to 30, while the U/17s went down 38 to 23.