ROC holds strong as Pakenham continues to progress

Maddison Chamberlain and her ROC teammates were too strong for Upwey Tecoma in a tense A Grade netball win. 405141 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

An upset win on the road over Upwey Tecoma saw ROC notch an important second victory of the Outer East Football Netball A-Grade netball season on Saturday.

A seesawing contest saw the lead swing violently in the first half until the visitors put the foot down with a 27-23 second half, to prevail 48-45.

There was no room to move in the first half as the largest lead of the contest reached only three goals in favour of the home side midway through the second term.

The Tigers led by one goal at the long break but ROC hit back with a 17-12 third quarter to snatch a four-goal lead at the final change.

Momentum swung with both runs of goals and periods of back and forth in the decisive quarter, with ROC making the running.

It scored the opening four of the half with Isabella O’Shanassy making her presence felt, as the visitors opened a five goal lead midway through the period.

The home side answered with the next seven goals to hit the front, but ROC weren’t done with yet, scoring the final six to snatch back the advantage to close the half.

14 goals of goal-for-goal to open the final quarter made for a vastly different story in the last 15 minutes.

Upwey Tecoma broke through with a rare hat-trick of goals to cut the lead two with three minutes remaining, but O’Shanassy held strong to keep the Tigers at bay.

She finished with 39 goals to lead all players in scoring with Jade McGuire and captain, Melanie Overdyk strong in defence.

Pakenham’s task was much simpler against the much-improved Monbulk, defeating the Hawks by 20 goals at home for a fourth consecutive win.

The star defensive pairing of Eliza Molino and Caitlin Cooke held the Hawks to its lowest score of the year with just 35 goals, with consecutive quarters of only seven goals in the second and third terms.

At the other end, the Lions had no such troubles, nailing 55 themselves through Kelly Cousins, Charlotte Hudolin and Hayley Melsen.

Berwick Springs found the going tough against heavyweight Mt Evelyn, suffering a heavy 70-goal loss at home.

The Titans conceded the first 10 goals of the match and only managed three in the first half for a 3-41 deficit at the long break, as the Rovers flexed their muscles.

The visitors showed all their experience and continuity with a ruthless defensive performance, disrupting passing lanes and forcing intercepts to make life even tougher for the Titans.

A swirling breeze made shooting tough, but one side handled the conditions better than the other with a concerted rebounding effort.

Vice-captain Laura Walker did all she could from the Titans’ defensive goal circle to kick start her side, but lacked other contributors higher up the court.

The final score read 11-81.

44 goals from Kaylah Loulantin helped the Bombers recover from a slow start to defeat Woori Yallock 57-41, while Wandin outscored Gembrook Cockatoo 59-24 after quarter time in a 73-37 win, with Emmalia Blake nailing 67 goals.

Narre Warren, meanwhile, showed that the 2022 grand final loss to Olinda Ferny Creek is a distant memory, thanks to a comprehensive 67-33 win at home.

Piuti Laban and Mercy Ioelu proved more than capable in the goal circle in the absence of Erin Bell, nailing 38 and 21 goals, respectively, with Ioelu stepping up in her first A-Grade contest of the year.