Bulldogs pass netball test, with tougher assignment to come

PANMURE coach Megan McKenzie says her side will need to improve to defeat reigning premier Old Collegians next weekend.

The Bulldogs enter round five of the Warrnambool and District league unbeaten after outlasting Kolora-Noorat 44-34 at Noorat Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

The third term, which the visitors won 15-7, was the only time they were able to break clear in what was a keenly contested match.

McKenzie, still coaching from the sidelines as she recovers from a knee injury, said she was pleased to walk away with four valuable points.

But she was disappointed with the way the Bulldogs’ attack end struggled to convert turnovers from Emma Roache and Sally O’Keefe into goals.

That was in part due to the absence of shooters Charlotte McCutcheon and Rhiannon Davis, with Jorgia Brown spending three terms in the circle.

“Next week will definitely be a test as to where we’re at. Today was the start of the test really,” McKenzie said.

“It was great to come up against Power and know that without our best goal shooter and without their best goal keeper we were still able to beat them.

“It didn’t feel like we played well ... It was a hard-fought win and it was good to win the way we played but we expect more from ourselves.”

Former coach Josie Ellerton shot 19 goals and Brown finished with 18 and found the net when Panmure surged in the third term.

But Roache and O’Keefe earned the best-player honours for holding up the defensive end. Natalie Meade was also valuable at centre.

“Just our steadiness, our defence really kept us in the game and turned over quite a lot of the ball, actually,” McKenzie said.

“It took us a little while to convert but in the end we persistently got it down there, some level-headedness got us through.”

Kolora-Noorat goal shooter Linda Clifford hit 25 goals to lead the way for the hosts while teenager Laura Kemp finished with nine.

Clifford, centre Faye Clarke and Ashlee Holmes, who started at wing defence and spent time at goal keeper, were their best.

Coach Glenice Justin said she was pleased her side could test Panmure, having put up a good showing against Old Collegians a fortnight earlier.

She said a head injury to goal keeper Kelly Mullen in the third term unsettled her players. She was taken to hospital with minor concussion.

“The Panmure girls took advantage of that and dominated the rest of the quarter. We were 10 goals down at three-quarter-time,” she said.

“I asked the girls to go out and remain positive and win the quarter. We didn’t lose any ground, we might’ve got back within seven.”

Justin said she felt Kolora-Noorat was “thereabouts” with the sides chasing finals berths. The Power is sixth with a 2-2 record.

“We’ve played the top two sides so far and we haven’t done a bad job. But not doing a bad job isn’t good enough, we have to do better,” she said.

“We were only two down going into the last quarter against Old Collegians and they ran over the top of us. Today it was only 10 minutes.”

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