Hunter United have had a fantastic week in the Dooley’s Metro League, scoring wins against St George and Sutherland in the first and third divisions.
The Diamonds kick-started the double-victory week for the club as they stormed to a 70-44 victory over Sutherland Shire, and recorded their first competitive points of the season.
Although the start of the season has been tough for the third division squad, Babette Armstrong believes they have been tracking well, with the “amazing win” a testament to their improvements.
“[The girls] are starting to learn, and implement the things we’ve been teaching them in training,” she said. “It showed with the strong scoreline.”
Armstrong also pointed to the team’s attacking trio in Claire Kowald, Nikki Murnane and Erika Simpson as one of the key element’s for the Diamond’s 26-goal victory.
“The attack led the whole game, it was what we practiced and they implemented it perfectly,” Armstrong said.
Later in the week, the Emeralds followed suit in the first division, winning 48-39 against St George District in a massive upset victory – St George currently lead the competition by a point.
Despite their table-topping position, coach Traci Baber said she knew her squad could secure the win, after they fell to them by just a single goal in the competition’s opening week.
“So far this year we haven’t lost to side better than us, it’s been more a case of us beating ourselves,” Baber said. She also pointed to key injuries that had slowed the team’s unison in opening weeks, including star defender Angela Williams.
Williams returned last round, and played her first full match of the season in the victory on Thursday evening, combining with sister Kim, as well as Aneeka Marcozzi and Veronica Smith in a defensive effort Baber described as “outstanding”.
“Our defence was great in the match, we had looked really good at training and we took that into the game,” she said. “That, combined with slowing the game down and removing a lot of mistakes, was key.”
“We played with a lot of patience, and that meant we could play how we wanted and we avoided those costly errors.”
Baber also praised Katelyn Stansfield and Abbie Gray for their contributions in attack off the back of a number of turnovers.
With her eyes on a top four finish after a mixed start to the season, Baber believes her squad is now in a “great position to see out the season”.
“We’re level with fifth at the moment, and this is the tightest competition that I’ve seen. There’s four points from us [the Emeralds are currently eighth] and first place,” she said. “The team has to win every game we can now and we can get into a top four spot.”
The Emeralds will face a stop-start period in the Metro League over the coming weeks, beginning with their bye round next Thursday evening, before playing Eastwood Ryde in round twelve.
Meanwhile, the Diamonds begin their move away from the bottom of the table, and now sit with a two point buffer over Sutherland. They will face Eastwood Ryde in round eleven.
First published as: First round-sweep of season for United