The 2018 Goodna Sapphires netball team.
The 2018 Goodna Sapphires netball team.

'Best yet to come' after local derby win

GOODNA Sapphires netball captain Robyn Walsh believes her team can only get better after beating three quality opponents, including the Ipswich Flyers.

The Sapphires maintained their three-match dominance over the Flyers with a 51-43 victory in their latest local derby.

"It was very physical as we expected and wasn't a pretty game but we came away with the points so that was pleasing,'' Walsh said.

At one stage, only a few points separated the Queensland Premier League South East Queensland Cup rivals before the Sapphires broke free in the final quarter.

"Although it was a loss, I was happy with how the team played and played resiliently,'' Flyers captain Emilie McInally said.

"We kept at them and didn't let the score blow out drastically.

"I'm very happy. It was a physically tiring game and we let our concentration slip a few times, which I put down to fitness and poor decision making while fatigued.''

Defending SEQ Cup champions Goodna are in second spot behind Western Districts.

The Flyers are in fourth place, after their first defeat following a positive start.

Walsh said beating teams like the Flyers and last year's runners-up Caboolture augured well for the rest of the competitive season.

"The team is only going to get better and better as the season progresses,'' she said.

"The more we play together as a team the more we will learn how each other plays and become more comfortable with each other.''

The Sapphires face eighth-placed MacGregor in Thursday night's next encounter.

The Flyers face winless Redlands in their clash at the State Netball Centre tomorrow night.

McInally said her team remained focused despite losing to the Sapphires.

"Seeing as it's only our third game in, it doesn't really phase us too much,'' she said.

"Finals, being points driven, we need to maintain wins from here out.''

Still recovering from surgery, Walsh said the Sapphires would welcome Beth Thornton back for tomorrow night's game.

"We have never had an issue with MacGregor and we do not foresee this changing this season,'' she said.

McInally praised Melissa Beutel and Selena Hirsch for committed efforts against the Sapphires.

The Flyers still have Meg Callaghan out with injury.

With regular Flyers coach Trish McInally on holidays in America, Ipswich Netball Association member Kerri Richardson, association president Gail Lyne and manager Kerry Moore have more important support roles.

Richardson was also on the bench to play last week in case of further injury.

She will sit on Ipswich's bench again this week because Rachael Sarra injured her finger playing club netball last weekend.

Game day

QPL South East Queensland Cup: Thursday - 6.30pm: Ipswich Flyers v Redlands; 7.50pm: Goodna Sapphires v MacGregor at the State Netball Centre.

Round 3 result: Goodna Sapphires def Ipswich Flyers 51-43.



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