Flyers handle challenge
THE 2012 Mount Franklin Challenge is shaping as just that for the Ipswich Flyers - if Thursday night was anything to go by.
For the second week in a row, the reigning champions played a team new to the top division of the Queensland tier three competition.
This time it was Logan and the Flyers won by five points after being given a shock in the third quarter.
"We were up by a fair bit at halftime," Flyers coach Tricia McInally said.
"But when we changed at halftime, we lost a bit.
"They moved a defender into shooter and she was quite tall and they pegged us back to level at three-quarter time."
It was a sign for McInally to play it safe after the changes she made to her defence at halftime didn't work.
"I took Lauren Nieuwenberg out of goal keeper (at halftime)," McInally said. "She was the one getting all the intercepts
"I put Thalia Vandenberg back there but it didn't work. She signalled me and we called time out and I put Lauren back on and it worked.
"Lauren was the one who turned the game back for us."
It was no criticism of Vandenberg who was one of the Flyers' best last season.
McInally needed to see how each worked alongside returned defender Steph Lee. "Steph had her first hit-out in goal defence and played really well," the coach said.
"We needed to get her on court so we have more than two options in defence."
Just as with Lee in defence, McInally is working out how to best integrate Liz Hales into the Flyers' attack.
"Brooke (Dixon) was fairly solid there (at goal shooter)," McInally said.
"Em (goal attack Emilie McInally) works the circle well, with a lot of speed.
"Liz (Hales) is coming back after a year out and will certainly get there.
"She was not so confident in the first quarter but in the last quarter she was getting there."
The bigger problem was getting the ball into the attacking circle.
"We did really well putting hands over the ball," McInally said.
"But we need more work around the circle and feeding the ball in.
"We threw a lot of balls away at the attacking end, after winning it at the defensive end.
"When we got to the circle, we lost it.
"We need more sharp angles, moving on and off the circle and feeding into our shooters."
Ipswich prepares to play Warwick, another new team to the division, on Thursday.
Logan lost to Warwick by a point in round one so McInally is expecting another tough test.