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By Russell Bennett

WEST GIPPSLAND FOOTBALL NETBALL COMPETITION
REVIEW – ROUND 12

The improvement of the Nar Nar Goon A Grade netball side throughout the season so far is as plain to see as black and white – or should we say blue and white!
Back in Round 3, the girls from Spencer Street won a thriller over old rivals, the Demons by just a goal, 35-34, but on Sunday at home they delivered a warning of their huge potential in a 35-goal demolition of Kooweerup – 56-21.
The win marked the Goon’s third on the trot since back-to-back losses to the league’s dominant force, Korumburra-Bena, and the third-placed Phillip Island in Rounds 8 and 9 respectively.
Nar Nar Goon A Grade coach Allyson Hook said the side’s upswing in form has come, in part, from the core group continuing to gel together as the season has progressed.
“We’ve got some new faces and it’s taken some time to get to know each other on and off the court,” she said.
Hook said a number of players have played big minutes in positions they’re not typically accustomed to, but it’s for the betterment of the team.
“The proof is on the scoreboard I guess,” she said.
“We’ve really come together, whereas in the first half of the year we were still getting to know each other.”
Hook said that was, in part, down to a young core group, some new faces, and her coming across as the new coach.
“The girls have just worked so hard and become a lot more disciplined,” she said, adding that the group’s unforced error rate is also down – pointing to a lift in focus.
Hook said the group also reacts particularly well to instruction and doesn’t shy away from constructive criticism.
“The girls are extremely coachable,” she said.
“They’re really supportive of each other and they can certainly take honest feedback.”
Hook said the group’s 2017 campaign so far had marked “a solid entry into the new league” with plenty of potential to build on.
“Look at the top five and Korumburra is clearly a level above (at this stage) but outside of them anyone can match anyone,” she said.
Hook said it was a particularly tough task deciding who to award best on court on Sunday.
Shannon Johns (32 goals) and Ash Coombes (24) were outstanding in the attacking end, missing only a handful of shots.
Hook said Johns played her best game of the season to date, while she and Coombes worked particularly well in tandem.
At the other end, Meg Evans also had her best game of the season, with Hook adding: “She said she felt 21 again!”
Grace Keysers was moved to wing attack and combined superbly with sister Georgia at centre, while the girls’ other sister Hollie shone at goal-defence with her tireless work rate.
Hook ultimately awarded Hollie best-on court, adding that the likes of Evans and Bec Cox benefited from her hard work.
As a defensive unit, they conceded just 21 goals between them.
Hook put that, in part, down to the consistent intensity they bring to the contest.
“And from a whole club point of view, the whole senior playing group has improved,” she said.
“Not just A Grade, but B and C Grades too.
“Having all the girls involved lifts the others’ intensity and expectations too.”
The girls from the Goon know what to expect this weekend against Inverloch – a supremely talented, physical side.
They know they have to respond while at the same time maintaining their discipline and court structure.
In the other games of Round 12, the still undefeated Giants outlasted the Magpies 49-34 in their top-of-the-table clash at Dalyston; Bunyip edged past Inverloch-Kongwak in a three-goal thriller 41-38; and Cora Lynn and Phillip Island enjoyed big wins over Garfield and Kilcunda Bass respectively.

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