Friday, 7 June 2013

Championship: Ruthless Monash put Ballarat to the sword

A Monash side keen to atone for last week’s loss to the Falcons has breezed past UB Ballarat Pride, defeating them by 27 goals on Wednesday night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

Ballarat showed some promise in the opening ten minutes going toe-to-toe and goal-for-goal in the opening ten minutes before Monash went on a rampage to be 22-10 ahead at the first change.

Customary Centre for Division 1 Shai Skinner stepped up to play a pivotal role alongside Lil O’Sullivan as their pair combined for 19 of 22 goal assists.

O’Sullivan was red hot early forcing turnovers and playing a hand in the opening eight goals of the match for Central.

Stephanie Tyrell looked at her energetic best up front, showing great intensity in grabbing rebounds from missed shots as well as converting her shots from all over the circle.

She would finish with a season-best 31 from 36 shots.

Tyrell wasn’t alone with goaling colleagues Stacey Northey (26 from 34) and Sarah Main (13 from 15) consistently added to Monash’s growing score.

Defensively, it was a great return for Monash, who had uncharacteristically conceded 50 points in their loss last week to City West Falcons.

Both Georgie Davenport and Helen Barclay returned to form with a host of deflections and interceptions giving no continuity to the Pride’s offense.

The word ‘continuity’ would aptly describe the way the match panned out with Monash able to suffocate Pride’s goalers, coercing Pride into wayward passing and deep, perimeter shooting.

For Central the 70-43 thrashing pushes them back into the top four, but Coach Leese Maxfield told that all games from hereon in were must-win.

“With five weeks to go, we are definitely no shoo-ins for finals,” Maxfield said.

“Tonight allowed us to put in place a new defensive structure that worked really well for us and is something we’ll look to implement for in the coming weeks.

“Even offensively, we got a lot out of what we wanted to achieve tonight in relation to our ball movement and shot creation.”

With elite Centre, Tegan Ashmore coming back into the mix and Lauren Tscharke also due to return, Maxfield said pressure on spots was now becoming a challenge set within the playing group.

“We’ve now got girls putting pressure on each other to get on the court and perform to stay on the court as well.”

Monash take on Boroondara Genesis next week at the State Netball and Hockey Centre looking to avenge for a one-point loss last time they met.

FINAL SCORE: Monash University Central 70 def. UB Ballarat Pride 43

MUC SCORERS: Stacey Northey 28 (78%); Stephanie Tyrell 25 (90%); Sarah Main 17 (74%)

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