FORGET sibling rivalry between Rebekah and Sarah Moroney — the great mates save their competitive spirit for netball rivals.
The Port Fairy defenders’ supportive and encouraging relationship is rarely broken with a glare — no words — on the court.
It sums up their game — actions speak louder.
“It’s never really been competitive between us, which is good,” Rebekah said.
“We mainly just support each other.”
That bond helped them form a goal circle sister act for the Seagulls, with 18-year-old Sarah at goal keeper and Rebekah, 20, at goal defence.
Today, Sarah has the task of lining up against Camperdown’s tall goal shooter Narelle Welsh, while Rebekah will be at wing defence in the qualifying final showdown at Terang Recreation Reserve. Coach Emma O’Keeffe will split the pair in goal defence.
Rebekah said she and her Port Fairy teammates were excited about the club’s first extended finals campaign in 13 years.
The second-year nursing student is confident the Seagulls are on the right track after a confidence-boosting win over Terang Mortlake last Saturday sealed third spot and at least two finals matches.
Rebekah is relishing her switch from goal defence to wing defence.
“Because Sarah and I always played ring defence together, we never really had to think,” she said.
“It might have taken us a little bit longer to get used to someone else being in the middle. But Emma’s been great. I’ve learnt heaps from her and she is really encouraging.
“I think I’m playing better than I was at the start of the year.”
The Moroney sisters are products of Port Fairy investing in its youth. Both were schoolgirls when the Seagulls won a cut-throat round 18 match against Terang Mortlake and snuck into fifth place before an elimination final appearance in 2011. The Seagulls went on to lose to North Warrnambool Eagles, before picking up the wooden spoon last year with just one win.
“Everyone was pretty excited then (2011), but we were a bit inexperienced with finals,” Rebekah said.
“We had all played junior finals and we hadn’t played senior finals and we were really young.
“Most of us have now played finals and with Sarah (McCorkell), Emma and Mandy Knee, they have a lot of experience.”
She said the club was upbeat.
“The whole club is excited. It was good back then but it’s now a lot more close-knit club. Even the footballers are a lot more positive,” she said.
“We have three teams in the finals and we have never had that before.”
Rebekah said the club’s lack of success — it has never won an A grade premiership — was driving the players.
She said former playing coach and centre Nicole Dwyer was an inspiration.
“Nicole played us all. We were so young but we were all still in the side. She still put us on the court and kept persevering with us even if we were getting flogged,” she said.
“Nicole was so positive and made it fun and we kept on turning up.”