Sun-sational result

Central Murray's Holly Hogan and Zoe Spence-Benfield take on Sunraysia's goal defence T'Sharni Burns.

Central Murray's Holly Hogan and Zoe Spence-Benfield take on Sunraysia's goal defence T'Sharni Burns.

CENTRAL Murray's A-grade netball stars brought plenty of fight, but Sunraysia's best proved enough in a four-goal interleague win at Alan Garden Reserve on Saturday.

Despite the visitors having a distinct height advantage, particularly through the mid-court, Central Murray dynamic duo of Laura Anderson and Kelsey McCoy troubled Sunraysia's defence early.

Centre Sherrie Geister and wing attack Demalza Henry owned possession and time in attacking third for the first term.

The home team were making the most of their limited opportunities.

Sheer speed of ball movement helped goal shooter Zoe Spence-Benfield utilise her height to full advantage in one-on-one contests, converting nine shots as Sunraysia held a two-goal lead (13-11) at the first change.

It was the second term where Sunraysia began to play smart netball, capitalising on their strengths to take control of the game.

Goal defender T'Sharni Burns conceded the pass up the court to her opponent Holly Hogan in order to help goal keeper Jessica Dorman against Spence-Benfield.

While in the attacking third, goal attack Demi Toms and goal shooter Amanda Edwards began to pass back to Henry and Geister around the shooting circle, then use their superior reach to work themselves into better shooting positions.

The strategy was working, but whenever Sunraysia were threatening to run away with the game, Anderson and McCoy bobbed up at the right time for Central Murray, causing turnovers to feed more goals to Spence-Benfield.

With the margin just three goals at the main break, Central Murray started brightly in the third term as goal keeper Carly-Marie Clark and, particularity, goal defence Madeleine Jeans began to inject their intercept game early in the third.

The home side closed to within one goal of Sunraysia early and, if not for missed opportunities around goal, could have snatched the lead. 

Instead, Sunraysia were able to find cleaner passages of play as the quarter progressed, with Burns moving from goal defence to wing defence, a move which provided the team with genuine spark.

The visitors stretched their lead to four goals at the final break, with Central Murray playing-coach Tessa Demaria inserted herself in the centre role at the start of the last quarter to counteract the height advantage, but to no avail.

Sunraysia continued their onslaught, and with goal defender Christine Becker taking a decisive intercept ball near the ring, a quick rebound resulted in a goal to extend the margin to eight goals midway through the last, silencing the home support.

Central Murray managed a late run, scoring the next five goals of the game, but with the match already in their keeping, Sunraysia put the nail in the coffin with the final goal to make it 52-48 just before the final whistle was blown.

Tyntynder ace Spence-Benfield finished as the highest goalscorer for the day with 35, but it was no match for the presence of Toms (29 goals) and Edwards (23 goals), who worked well together in tandem throughout.

Centre Sherrie Geister was awarded Sunraysia's best player, and for good reason, making her presence felt in many plays forward as she worked hard into space across the court.

For Central Murray, Kelsey McCoy earned the best-on-court medal for her work through the mid-court, showing speed and fast passes which often sliced through Sunraysia's defence.

Goal attack Holly Hogan accumulated plenty of the ball leading into the attacking-third, while hitting the scoreboard with 13 goals and Laura Anderson impressed.


Sunraysia 52

Central Murray 48

Goals, Sunraysia: Demi Toms 29, Amanda Edwards 23

Central Murray: Zoe Spence-Benfield 35, Holly Hogan 13

Best, Sunraysia: Sherrie Geister, T'Sharni Burns, Demi Toms, Amanda Edwards. 

Central Murray: Kelsey McCoy, Madeleine Jeans, Zoe Spence-Benfield, Laura Anderson.

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