Sunbury Lions got the fast start they were after against Bacchus Marsh in the Ballarat Netball League on Saturday.
Facing one of the bigger improvers this season, the Lions wanted to get out to a strong lead to show they meant business.
They did exactly that and led by nine goals at quarter-time. After an even second quarter, the Lions went up a level in the second half to snare a 65-44 victory and their eighth straight win of the campaign.
Lions’ coach Adam Boldiston was thrilled.
“The first quarter, we really stamped our authority on the game,” he said.
“I thought that was the key against them … we were out to prove a point, make our mark early and go away with it.”
Boldiston was just as happy with the third quarter, in which the Lions scored 19 goals.
The Lions were defensively strong and dominated the rebound count, despite being shorter in the defensive circle.
Even when the Lions were making mistakes, they were able to get the ball back – something Boldiston said the club had been working on across all the grades.
“We’re making sure we’re getting handover pressure right and staying in the play a bit more,” he said.
The win came with the Lions missing three of their regular players – Tarnee Adams, Kate Fletcher and Elly Randall – due to Victorian Netball League commitments.
Amanda Cusack and Lauren Wishart both came up from B grade to help out.
Cusack shot 45 goals, having already shot 33 in the earlier game.
Boldiston said they were thrilled how the
B graders were stepping up.
“They’ve been the key all year,” he said. “Today it was AC [Cusack] and Loz Wishart. Last week, it was Suzi Johnson and she had a blinder.”
Premiership player Aila Pera returned to the side for the match. Pera, who has been battling a knee injury, was unsure if she was going to play this year.
But Boldiston said Pera, if she pulled up fine, would likely play a lot more defence than she did last season.
The win and other results mean the Lions are two games clear of East Point and Lake Wendouree on top of the ladder.
The Lions will face those two teams in the next two weeks, which Boldiston knows will be testing.
“We don’t take anything for granted,” he said.