Greensborough Men’s Netball’s mental toughness shone through a disjointed and challenging game against Melbourne Bucks with a 51-33 victory in the Round 3 Victorian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association clash.
By Paul Nichols
The pouring rain and bad traffic resulted in a delayed start and disrupted game preparation but the whole team made it on court for the starting whistle.
Not like the opponents the Bucks, who started with a reduced line up in the first quarter.
Greensborough got into a flow quickly with some sharp passing and good movement shocking the Bucks out of the blocks.
Shooters Alex Nichols and Julian Taylor were on fire early, with some sharp and accurate passing from Tony Williams in Centre and Ash Tranter in Wing Attack, to take a 17-5 first quarter lead.
Goal Defence Dom Barton and Keeper Dana Button kept in front of their opponents and took some awesome intercepts in the air as the Bucks tried to feed the shooter.
Midcourter Kade Rowe came back from the flu to take Centre in the second quarter and added some speed and agility to the mid court moves, as Greensborough increased their lead.
The boys mixed it up in the third quarter to try some combinations given their strong lead. Ash came into Goal Attack and Alex moved to Shooter.
Tony and Kade kept supplying the ball, but the Bucks defence had changed their match ups and they sharpened up.
As the Bucks started to put on more pressure and press, the Greensborough boys held it together and tightened their leads and change of direction to create more space for short sharp passing through the mid court.
Defender Joshua Wells held up the defence end with Dana so the lead didn’t get too far eroded.
Some good learnings for the need to play differently with a different front end, so some more work required in training to get the same flow and passing to advantage with different style of goal shooter and goal attack when needed.
Resetting in the fourth, GNC went back to their calm and controlled game under more intense pressure.
The stable line up regained composure even after Dom went down with an ankle early as the options in the back end meant that the team didn’t miss a beat.
Apart from a great win, this one will be remembered for Dana’s balance over the transverse line balancing on the ball to stop going off-side, and for Tony’s confidence to jump and do flick pass into Julian at the post.