By David Nagel
MAGPIES make their mark.
Dalyston has extracted a small token of revenge on its 2019 grand final conqueror with a dominant 59-33 victory over a vulnerable Tooradin-Dalmore on Saturday.
The Magpies, who succumbed to the Seagulls in two finals that year, were keen to make their mark against a Tooradin-Dalmore side missing some key players from its best starting line-up.
But the Magpies still faced a quality opponent and needed to get the job done – something they set about strongly right from the opening whistle.
The writing was on the wall early, with the Magpies shooting out to a 15-6 lead at quarter time.
Alana (GD) and Grace McRae (GK) made life extremely difficult for the Seagulls’ goalers, while Sophie Scott (WD), Hannah McRae (C) and Chloe Bramley (WA) handled the cold and difficult conditions with absolute class through the midcourt.
And Jarney Thomas (GS) stood tall in the first-quarter onslaught, scoring 11 of her teams 15 goals with great support from Brittany Thomas (GA).
The Magpies played with some real fire in the belly and took great delight in extending their nine-goal lead to 12 at half time, 19 at three-quarter time, before eventually prevailing by 26 goals.
The Magpies – now the only undefeated team in the competition – kept things simple on the weekend, with Jarney and Brittany swapping bibs in the third quarter in the only change to their structure for the entirety of the afternoon.
The Seagulls on the other hand made many changes throughout the day in an endeavour to cover for the absence of players like Bec Cox, Sara Duncan, Bec Kinna and Alex and Jess Maher.
Alex Duff and Ebony Mason led from the front as usual, while Emma and Kelly Haynes were reliable bookends at either end of the court.
Well done to the Magpies for extracting revenge – but you get the feeling it would be absolute crazy to write the Seagulls off as a legitimate premiership chance. The Seagulls have now lost their last two against Korumburra-Bena and now Dalyston.
Kooweerup is knocking on the door of the top five after securing its third-consecutive victory with a 33-30 victory over Nar Nar Goon at Denhams Road.
Both teams were brave in some shocking conditions at times and fought out a really tight contest right to the end.
After a dead-even first term the main difference in this match was the second quarter, where the Demons outscored the Goon 10-4 to take a 17-11 lead to half time. Nar Nar Goon would either win or tie three quarters of this match but would surrender that advantage with its disappointing second stanza.
Taylah Simpson (GS) and Nicole Faltum (GA) kept a steady hand for the Demons in the tough conditions, while Renae Joiner (C) continued a hot run of form through the midcourt.
The Goon fought hard to work its way back into the match, with Bec Cox, Alex Riley, Olivia Hamilton and Emily Gleeson providing the spark to make it happen.
Both teams face tough next encounters, with Nar Nar Goon to face Tooradin-Dalmore while the Demons take on Dalyston.
In other games this week, Bunyip made it five wins on the trot with a 46-20 victory over Cora Lynn, while Phillip Island won its first game since round two with a 59-31 win over Garfield.
And Warragul Industrials began an expected rise up the ladder with a 55-29 victory over Inverloch-Kongwak.
The Dusties have had a tough run of late but bounced back in impressive fashion.
Inverloch, who had Renee Pilkington and Meg Patterson toil hard at the defensive end of the court, will look to turn around their fortunes when they take on bottom-side Garfield this week.
Inverloch has not won since round one, while the Stars are yet to hit the scoreboard. It should be a tight and intriguing clash at Inverloch this week.