TERANG Mortlake’s open netball side suffered a devastating loss to South Warrnambool last Saturday.
The Bloods and the Roosters played out a thriller that saw only one goal separate the pair at the end of play, but it was the visitors who were celebrating after they held on to score a 40-39 victory.
Coach Lisa Arundell was upbeat about her side’s performance despite the disappointment of losing.
“In the finish I guess so (it is disappointing) but in so many respects there was plenty I was pleased with,” she said.
“Obviously it was miserable conditions, some of the worst netball could be played in, but having said that it was just goal for goal all game and neither side could get on top of the other.
“In light of everything, it was quite disappointing but at the same time there were plenty of positives in our performance.”
Arundell said the positives included the successful implementation of new combinations, while she was pleased with how her side handled the conditions.
She also said the performances of Melissa Burt and Aimee Moloney were highlights of the narrow loss.
“We tested a few more combinations and I was really pleased and happy with how they went,” she said.
“And to play in such trying conditions and how we handled that was fantastic.
“Melissa Burt played her best game yet for us, she didn’t stop trying and she gave 100 per cent all day and I thought Aimee Moloney played a very smart game given the atrocious conditions.”
Arundell also said another highlight was the turnaround from last year’s same match-up, games which the Roosters won comfortably on both occasions.
She said the one goal defeat showed the Bloods had now proven they were able to match it against the competition’s best sides, but now she wants her side to take it to the next level.
She said the “next step in the process is to hone in where we are matching it with those sides”, but highlighted the fact it was important they started to win games against those teams surrounding them on the ladder.
“Most definitely (we have to win them),” she said.
“Games like this we could have won and even the two losses we have had we could have won, so we’ve certainly had games in our reach.
“But it was more or less us losing those games more than anything so we could have had three extra wins.
“It is something we’ve got to work on but having said that I’m not too unhappy with our performances this year.”
The Bloods are now preparing to bounce back against Portland this week, with Arundell hopeful of building some good form heading into two tough tests to round out of the first half of the year.
“Once again I’ll test out a few more combinations and obviously it’ll be nice to get the win and build (from last week) because we do a couple of tough weeks ahead,” she said.
“We play one and two (Cobden and Koroit) and that will certainly give us a good idea of where we are at.”
In the lower grades, division one lost its third game in succession 35-33, division two won 33-29 and division three went down 31-23.
The 17 and under side was defeated 65-14, the 15 and under team prevailed 29-24, and the 13 and under girls triumphed 23-15.