A rare result in netball was the highlight of the Benalla Saints’ matches at the weekend.
The A-grade match-up between the Saints and Shepparton Swans, played at Princess Park, in Shepparton, ended in a 40-40 draw.
The Swans, tipped to cause problems for the top six this year, performed strongly, holding the visitors for extended periods of the match.
Saints’ head coach Dylan Nexhip said the match was ‘‘a tough battle’’ and a draw was not the ideal outcome.
‘‘It was a tough battle this week for our senior side this Saturday coming out with a draw against the Swans’ side.
‘‘Grace Thomas was a strong option in the goal circle whilst Tylah Marchbank and Bridget Hill were disciplined in defence under an enormous amount of pressure,’’ he said.
‘‘A draw wasn’t the ideal outcome, however the girls are holding their heads up high leading into next week’s clash against the Shepparton Bears.’’
The draw sees each side get two points from the game, and the Swans come off the foot of the table to 11th place. Meanwhile the Saints sit in fifth with six points after three matches.
The Saints’ best players on the day were Grace Thomas, Tylah Marchbank and Bridget Hill
On Saturday the Saints will host eighth-placed Shepparton Bears at the Benalla Showgrounds at 2.15pm.
Meanwhile in the under-17 match it was a closely fought contest with Shepparton Swans, who were undefeated and sitting on top of the ladder.
The girls pulled together and their defence coming down the court was a highlight of the match. Kelsey Rigg also played a fantastic hand in her 50th club game as Benalla triumphed over the Swans in the end: Saints 40 defeated Swans 37.
Best players were Eve Way, Alex Robinson and Kelsey Rigg.
In the B-reserve the girls fought hard against a strong Shepp Swans side that was in the end much too good for the young Benalla side.
There were some positive passages of play that the team will continue to work on, but the final score read Swans 70 defeated Benalla 24.
Best players were Abbey Steegstra, Ranni Salan and Milly Treacy.
In the B-grade the Saints proved far too strong for the Swans on Saturday. The Saints were fitter and more determined.
Hayley Martiniello and Bec Robinson worked the ball hard, creating lots of pressure and turnovers throughout the game. The final score was Benalla 49 defeated Swans 38. Best for Saints were Kelsey Pallpratt, Chantal Lindsay and Emily Martyn.