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17 July 2019
Dimboola kept a faint glimmer of hope for a 2019 Wimmera Netball Association finals berth alive with an impressive upset win against Ararat on Saturday.
The Roos have toiled hard for little reward this season and were a better side than their 3-7 record suggested entering round 12.
A week after losing by just six goals to top side Minyip-Murtoa, the team finally put it all together in a 62-51 triumph against the Rats.
Dimboola took charge from the opening quarter, with the ever-reliable Nicole Polycarpou scoring 11 goals, Jodie Hayes covering the court well at centre and youngster Emily Polack battling admirably against Ararat goal shooter Delaney McLoughlan.
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Although McLoughlan finished with 38 goals, the Rats could not overcome Dimboola’s early lead and went down 62-51.
It was Ararat’s third loss from its past five games and left the team in danger of slipping out of the top three.
Dimboola, meanwhile, is still long odds to play finals but could put some pressure on fifth-placed Horsham Saints if it continues to play as well as it did at the weekend.
Warrack Eagles continued their quietly successful season with a 62-41 thumping of Stawell on Saturday.
The Eagles blew the Warriors away after a relatively close first half with 35 goals in the second.
Sarah Spicer’s hard work in the midcourt helped win the game for the Eagles, while Dakota Cosson, with 18 goals, was one of Stawell’s best.
Horsham had the biggest win of the round when it more than doubled the Giants’ score in a 74-34 annihilation.
Emma Buwalda put on a show with 13 goals in the first quarter as the Demons raced to a nine-goal lead, following it up with 12 goals in each of the second and third quarters before getting a rest in the fourth.
Horsham had winners all over the court, while the Giants struggled to create opportunities for themselves.
The Demons now have a four-point buffer over the Rats in second place, and with the best percentage in the league look likely to finish in the top two.
The Giants’ season looks done meanwhile, as they sit three games adrift of fifth-placed Horsham Saints.
While the Saints’ 41-27 win against Nhill at the weekend was not a cakewalk, it was still enough to see the two-time-defending premiers end the round comfortably inside the top five.
The likes of Gabby O’Brien, playing wing attack and centre, and Elly Barnett at wing defence and goal defence propelled the Saints to victory against the dogged Tigers, who were led by goal defence Sarah Dickinson and goal keeper Julie Cook.
The Tigers have a bye in round 13, while the Saints have an intriguing clash with Ararat at Alexandra Oval.
Minyip-Murtoa will return to action against Southern Mallee Giants at Hopetoun, Dimboola will host Warrack Eagles and Horsham will travel to Central Park to play Stawell.
– Colin MacGillivray
The entire July 17, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!