Rebecca Rowlings, Narrandera Argus
The Narrandera Eagles senior women’s side broke their SNSW drought with a tense four-point win over the Brookdale Bluebells at Lockhart last Friday.
After completing their inaugural season in 2020 without a win, the Eagles had endured six straight losses in 2021.
A second-quarter goal and four quarters of determined defensive effort saw them finally get on the right side of the scoreboard as they held on through a Bluebells barrage in the fourth quarter for a 1.1.7 to 0.4.4 victory.
Brookdale had the weight of the possession in the opening quarter, but strong defence from the Eagles kept them to just a point.
In the second quarter possession flowed more evenly, and Narrandera were rewarded for their persistence when Lucy Litchfield broke clear in front of goal and kicked a six-pointer.
The Eagles led 1.1.7 to 0.1.1 at three quarter time, and the final term proved to be tense.
Unable to break out of the midfield successfully to add to their tally, the Eagles remained nonetheless solid in defence.
Brookdale were not giving up and kept pushing forward, creating several chances at goal, but the kicks failed to convert and they could only manage three behinds to add to their total.
The final siren heralded a relieved celebration from the Eagles, who had held on for their maiden victory in the SNSW senior women’s competition.
Molly Darrington stepped up at fullback to be best on ground for the Eagles, while Lucy Litchfield, Marnie Grintell, Lara DeMamiel and Amber Golsby were all strong contributors.
Coach Danny Litchfield has remained proud of his side’s persistence this season, but was especially pleased that it had finally paid off.
“For the girls to keep turning up and putting in the hard yards after having some big scores go against them, it has been really impressive,” he said.
However, Litchfield warned against complacency in the team’s final game for 2021, against Collingullie-Glenfield Park.
“It might be tempting to think that we beat Brookdale and they beat Collingullie, so we should beat Collingullie, but that’s not the attitude we need,” he said.
“They had 12 scoring shots to our three when we played them in the first round, and we’ll need to stay focused to turn that around this week.”
The Eagles take on Collingullie-Glenfield Park in the SNSW Women’s Competition Finals, starting at 7.30pm tonight at Narrandera Sportsground.
In other results, North Wagga Saints went down to CSU Bush Pigs 1.2 (8) to 5.3 (33), while GGGM Lions thrashed CGP Demons 14.13 (97) to 0.1 (1), and EWK Hawks 2.8 (20) defeated Griffith Swans 2.1 (13).
CSU Bushpigs remain on top of the ladder followed by North Wagga Saints and GGM Lions.
Tonight (Thursday) the Brookdale Bluebells meet Griffith Swans at Lockhart, and GGGM Lions play East Wagga Kooringal Hawks at Gumly Oval.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 1 April 2021.