Watsonia 1 have claimed their first win of the 2023 NFNL senior winter netball season, producing a strong third quarter to defeat Lalor 1 by 10 goals at La Trobe Sports Stadium.
The Bloods led by one goal at half time in what looked to be an even contest before the Saints shot out of the blocks in the third term, scoring 13 goals to two, which set them up for an important 37-27 victory.
Goal shooter Ellie Bonnett scored a season high 27 goals, with her presence inside the shooting circle proving to be a threat for the Lalor defenders. Carly Diprose scored the other 10 goals for the Saints.
Watsonia also had contributors through the likes of Ella Heaney, who continuously applied tight pressure to the Bloods attacking players, as well as Carli Harris and Jessica Muller who combined well in the midcourt.
The majority of scoring for Lalor was shared between Zoe Lagoulis (13 goals) and Kirstin Birch (12) who were crucial in keeping their side in the hunt throughout the first half. Birch’s 12 goals are also a season high for her in the 2023 campaign.
Lalor would gain a slight edge in the opening quarter with a one-goal lead following the first quarter. They scored five of the first six goals of the game before the Saints lifted off the back of Bonnett, who scored eight of Watsonia’s nine goals for the term.
The Bloods would maintain that one-goal advantage throughout the second term with both sides scoring seven goals apiece.
Meghan McKenzie was a standout for Lalor in the term, with her ball winning ability in defence a strong contributor to the Bloods ability to stay in the contest. Carly Diprose would have a similar impact for Watsonia in the defensive third with no side in a position to run away with the game as a result.
However, when it looked as though the game would stay as competitive throughout the third term, Watsonia would quickly break open the match, with an impressive 13-goal to two quarter.
Their transition work as well as limiting Lalor’s time with ball in hand, ensure they created a comfortable 10-goal lead at three quarter time.
The Bloods returned to their competitive best in the last quarter to make the Saints work hard for their goals, but the deficit was too far back for Lalor to reach as Watsonia claimed their first win of this year’s campaign.