SOUTH Mildura showed their considerable experience in big games when they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the final minutes of a thriller in A Grade netball at Sarah Oval.
With scores tied at 40 apiece at the last change, the Dogs steadied to record a six-goal win over a surging Ouyen United that had threatened all game.
Tayla Willsmore and Ash Morrish were deadly in attack and got the visitors into a two-goal lead with precious minutes remaining, but then two missed shots cost the Kangas dearly.
The Dogs got the rebounds and went swiftly and directly down court and Demi Toms made no mistake.
In the high-pressure furnace, Toms’ goal-shooting accuracy was exemplary – she missed few – and was the difference when the game’s tempo ramped up.
“All our games against Ouyen United have been close and today was no exception,” Toms said after the match.
“We all back each other up – I have confidence in my teammates that they will put the ball up for me (so) I can take advantage.”
Toms’ assessment of play was reinforced by her sister and captain Maddison at wing defence, who is a nurse and no doubt a budding director of nursing at Mildura Base Hospital.
“Ouyen United are a tough side, they were with us all game, the intensity of play never dropped,” Toms said courtside.
“We lifted that bit more – we took possession and played smart.”
Centre Rhianna Toms also offered some perspective.
“I’m the runner – I control the midcourt and try to keep composure so that passes are not rushed; we all work together and encourage each other with positive support – there’s never anything negative.”
For the Kangas, this was a game that got away, but coach Kyra Nathan said there was plenty of upside in the loss.
“The girls we brought in – Esther Manley, Tayla Willsmore and Laura Hayter were all exceptional for us today,” Nathan, who was named best with Morrish, said.
“It (the loss) was our own fault; now we need to recover, reset and look forward to Merbein next week.”
Stories & photos courtesy of Sunraysia Daily