Ipswich team's loss highlights competition danger
NETBALL: Goodna Sapphires captain Robyn Walsh was surprised to see the Ipswich Flyers lose their second match of the season in the latest South East Queensland Cup round.
However, with finals looming, Walsh said it was important for the leading sides to remain motivated.
"It just goes to show that any team can be beaten on the night,'' Walsh said, after the Flyers went down 55-47 to Western Districts and dropped to third spot.
However, the Sapphires remain in great shape being the only undefeated side after beating Cornubia Park 65-31.
"It was another comfortable win,'' Walsh said.
"We had an injury off the first centre pass, which left us with only the minimum seven players, so all the girls did well.''
Preparing for tonight's clash with eighth-placed MDNA, Walsh said all her players had been putting in good performances.
"It is flowing well,'' she said.
"We have patches where we make some silly errors but then work hard to gain the turnover and convert the shot.
"Chrissy Peever and Renee Kalalo have been combining well in the shooting circle.''
Despite her team's commanding progress, Walsh said the Sapphires were striving for consistency with the semi-finals looming on August 30.
"Being on top can mean nothing when it comes to finals time, as finals is a whole new ball game,'' she said.
"We do not take any team lightly and treat them all with respect. We appear at this stage to be the team to beat and we are aware of this, which puts added pressure on us.
"We are a very highly motivated team at the best of times and love to win.''
The Sapphires will tonight be without regulars Angela Ray, Renee Keith and Amelia Soloai. They are contesting the Indoor Netball Nationals in Perth.
"So we will have to be on our A game and it is also a 9.10pm game as well, so we will be up against it,'' Walsh said.
A positive for the defending champions is the return of Beth Thornton from an arm injury.
The Flyers meanwhile have a tough clash with second placed Caboolture in their latest game tonight.
Captain Emilie McInally said errors and a few calls against her team cost the Flyers dearly last week.
"It was not our finest but we would rather know our flaws now and work on them rather than in finals,'' she said.
"It's never fun to lose, especially after our winning streak but I'd rather have a bad performance now than in finals.''
With no major injury issues, McInally said the Flyers would look to rebuild their cohesive play against Caboolture at the State Netball Centre tonight.
QPL SEQ Cup Rd 10: Goodna Sapphires def Cornubia Park 65-31; Western Districts def Ipswich Flyers 55-47.
Rd 11: Tonight (7.50pm) - Ipswich Flyers v Caboolture. 9.10pm: Goodna Sapphires v MDNA at the State Netball Centre.