A SIX-goal turnaround in the third quarter has helped Lorne netballers defeat Apollo Bay in a pulsating Easter netball clash.
Apollo Bay travelled to Lorne’s Stribling Reserve for the season-opening game but failed to maintain its first-half momentum in a hard fought third quarter.
Lorne turned a two-goal halftime deficit into a four-goal three-quarter-time lead then held off a charging Hawks team to record a valuable early-season victory, 49-45.
The Hawks outscored the Dolphins, 26-24, in a tense first half but Lorne proved the more settled team in the final 30 minutes.
Lorne captain Carly Enticott earned best-on-court votes and scored 32 goals while fellow attacker Karen Heathcote had 17.
Versatile attacker Laura Taylor was Apollo Bay’s best player with 13 goals and Hawks coach Kath Speirs netted 25.
Enticott said the third quarter proved decisive.
“In the third quarter we made a few positional changes and started to play well; it was our first real hit out for the year because we haven’t played any practice matches together,” she said.
“There were a few little wrinkles to iron out but we were really happy to win, that’s for sure.”
Apollo Bay recruits Ali Campbell, Di Carter and Katie Monaghan were all important at different stages.
Speirs said she was pleased with the Hawks’ effort after a lack of pre-season match practice.
“It was basically our first hit out and I was not disappointed in the least,” she said.
“The scoring was quite even and we made some silly mistakes by throwing it away and not moving the ball forward.
“At the same time Lorne played a really good game and it was nice and close the whole way through, so that made it really enjoyable.”
Speirs said her team needed to lift its fitness in order to remain competitive for four quarters.
“Some girls make it to pre-season but other girls, with their work commitments, can’t make it to pre-season,” she said.
“So it was a bit of a rude shock to the system and they know they need to work on their fitness.”
Enticott said a bumper crowd created a finals-like atmosphere for the match.
“It was sensational, and it was nice to have a bit of buzz around local netball because we don’t always get that,” she said.