Grubbers open season with victory

Star recruit Zanna Woods started the season strongly. 397855_10

By Justin Flynn

Ocean Grove opened its Bellarine Netball League A Grade season with a two-goal win against Queenscliff at Steeline Ray Menzies Oval on Good Friday.

The new-look Grubbers led by a goal at the last change and prevailed 57 to 55 in an entertaining game.

Both sides showed enough to suggest they will again be there at the business end of the season.

New coach Mel Holmes said being reigning premiers was not really in the forefront of her team’s minds.

“I have to see it as a new challenge with a new group,” she said.

“Last year was amazing and successful, but it’s a new year and a new team. They were successful last year and it was amazing, but I don’t want to go into the mindset that we need to prove anything other than to ourselves.”

Ocean Grove’s new-look attack started the season strongly with star recruit Zanna Woods scoring 35 goals and young gun Arlee Bennett shooting 22.

“Zanna brings loads of experience and she’s got a really positive attitude and she’s willing to impart her knowledge on to the rest of the group,” Holmes said.

“And Arlee’s the baby, she’s fresh out of Under 19 Cougars, but she’s not playing there this year. She’s relocated here for uni and I think she’s just going to get better and better.”

Holmes said the side’s grit impressed her most, especially when it was challenged multiple times by a very slick Queenscliff outfit. She said the team will take a while to gel.

“They (Queenscliff) were good,” she said.

“They were strong and polished so we were really happy to get that first win.

“I’m really confident with the group we’ve got that it will just come as the season builds. Just getting used to each other and how to play.

“It was pretty close and at times there were ups and downs, but I think we dug deep and took it up that level.

“I was really proud of the fight the girls put up, and we just said ‘it’s not going to happen unless we make this happen, so we have to dig deep’.”

GEELONG AMATEUR sent a warning to the competition with a 66 to 28 win against Modewarre. Ammos led by 19 at the first break and never looked back with Darcy McFarlane and Ruby Watson unstoppable in attack.

ANGLESEA won a thriller 44 to 43 against Barwon Heads. Eliza Toohey was best for the Seas.

DRYSDALE edged past Torquay 46 to 43 in an absorbing tussle with Chloe Hobbs dangerous in attack.

NEWCOMB got the better of Portarlington by eight goals with Sarah Mulqueen and Sian Mortlock combining well under the ring.