The Sunbury Lions didn’t come away with a win for the first time this season on Saturday, but they didn’t walk away empty handed either.
In the battle of the Lions, Sunbury and Redan, the two teams couldn’t be split and had to come away with a draw in the Ballarat Netball League.
Redan jumped the Lions and led by five goals at quarter time. They still held that margin at half time and were still three goals up at three quarter time.
The Lions were able to level the scores in the final quarter, but couldn’t get the win.
Chloe Curran shot 30 goals for the Lions, but her shooting percentage of 75 per cent was lower than normal.
Speaking before the match, Lions coach Adam Boldiston said they were in the middle of a tough period where they played four straight weeks in Ballarat.
Sitting on top of the ladder, with a 7-1 record, he said they were happy with how they had started the season with a completely different team from last season.
“It’s been a good start and we’ve had some tests the last few weeks,” he said.
“The match against Sebastopol was billed as a real test as they were undefeated and it was a bit of an unknown for me.
“We were switched on from the word go. We’ve had some real tests, but the score lines have blown out.”
Having been able to get wins on the board, the Lions have been working on settling their best line-ups.
Boldiston said he thought they had a better idea of that now and was confident in what all the players brought to the side.
“We’ve been switching up the midcourt and defensive combos and working out the best ones.
“All eight players on the court are capable and there’s depth and flexibility and we can always go to the player on the bench.”
Boldiston said when needed they would look at bringing up players from the lower grades.
Amanda Cuscak has had opportunities in the shooting circle and is likely to get a few more games when Curran isn’t available due to Victorian Netball League commitments.
Boldiston has been thrilled with her development. Three other B-grade players have had court time in A-grade, including Nicole Isles who played up for the first time on Saturday.
The standout thing for the Lions this season has been their depth.
Boldiston said that would be important later in the season.
While the A-grade side suffered their first blemish of the season, the B-grade and C-grade sides remain undefeated.
Their D-grade side has won six matches, while their under-19 side, after not winning a game last year, has two wins.