A NEW defensive pairing has helped guide Colac Tigers netballers to victory against Newtown and Chilwell in Geelong League netball.
Tigers defenders Emma Hillman and Tahlia Jeffreys combined for the first time and Colac beat the Eagles, 46-37.
Experienced defender Sara Hay will miss the rest of the Tigers season but Hillman and Jeffreys showed they were capable of headlining Colac’s defence.
The Tigers played an impressive brand of netball in the first half at Elderslie Reserve on Saturday to hold an eight-goal lead at the main break.
The Eagles fought their way back into the game and were within two goals heading into the final quarter but the Tigers rallied to ensure a nine-goal victory.
Tigers coach Rebecca Finn said Colac had strong players across the court.
“The defensive pressure from Tahlia and Emma Hillman was great, they played a terrific game together,” she said.
“Our attack end stood up very well considering it was a very physical clash under the ring.”
Finn said she was happy with the team’s output but the Tigers’ third-quarter effort had left room for improvement.
“We lost that free flowing game that we had in the first and second quarters but the girls worked through it and well and truly fixed it in the fourth quarter,” she said.
“The first quarter was sensational and even into the second quarter was great; we’d worked on a few things at training and they started to come off for us.”
Tigers goaler Courtney Cuolahan netted 27 goals and Kaitlyn Hammond had 19, while Cuolahan, Hillman and Jeffreys claimed best-on-court votes.
Finn said the Tigers would continue to improve in the coming month.
“I think the side will certainly settle in the weeks to come,” she said.
“Also for Tahlia and Emma to have Sara Hay there on game day and coaching them from the sidelines is just invaluable for them.”
Meanwhile, Leopold proved too strong for Grovedale, 57-31, Bell Park defeated North Shore, 61-23, and St Marys was too
good for South Barwon, 65-40.
St Albans beat Geelong West-St Peters, 41-30, and St Josephs was playing Lara as the Colac Herald went to print.