Nirranda extended its unbeaten run in the Warrnambool and District league A grade netball

INFLUENTIAL: Nirranda's Nicole Smith (pictured) was praised by Blues' coach Steph Townsend for her defensive efforts early in Saturday's victory over Timboon. Picture: Rob Gunstone
INFLUENTIAL: Nirranda's Nicole Smith (pictured) was praised by Blues' coach Steph Townsend for her defensive efforts early in Saturday's victory over Timboon. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A blistering start from Nirranda’s defenders enabled the Blues to secure a commanding victory over fellow finals fancy Timboon.

Blues coach Steph Townsend said the fast start and defender Nicole Smith were critical to the Blues run-away 54-25 victory over the Demons.

“I was really pleased with our start and it set us up and gave us a lot of momentum going into the second quarter,” she said. 

“I thought Nicole Smith played a vital role in that period. She had three or four intercepts in the first five minutes and a couple at the end of the quarter so it’s little things like that, that can set you up well.”

Townsend said defending had been a key focus for the Blues in the early rounds this season.

“It has been good to have such a close knit defensive end and the depth we have is quite pleasing,” she said

“You can't put a price on how golden defending can be and it's an element of our game that we have been working closely on and the pressure we put on the teams throughout the court was outstanding for us again yesterday.”

The Blues flexed their defensive muscles and kept an in-form Demons side to their lowest total for the year. Lisa Anders and Katie Ryan limited Timboon’s shooters, Laura Rosolin and Hayley Plozza, to eight and 10 goals respectively.

As Nirranda’s defence gathered turnovers the Blues goalers, Sophie Adams and Townsend, at the other end continued their impressive form in the shooting circle scoring 21 and 25 goals to help secure the confidence building 29-goal victory.