Storm set sights on strong finish to to BFNL netball season

COOL UNDER PRESSURE: Claudia Powell was one of the standouts in defence for Strathfielfdsaye in the Storm's 43-43 draw against fourth-placed Eaglehawk on Saturday.
COOL UNDER PRESSURE: Claudia Powell was one of the standouts in defence for Strathfielfdsaye in the Storm's 43-43 draw against fourth-placed Eaglehawk on Saturday.

STRATHFIELDSAYE coach Aleisha Langdon hopes her sides' 43-43 draw against Eaglehawk will represent a turning point after a tough month of BFNL A-grade netball.

With six rounds remaining, the Storm are in seventh position, six points behind Maryborough, which has jumped into fifth place on 24 points, and reigning premiers Kangaroo Flat, which is sixth, also on 24 points.

The Storm have already completed a treble of tough matches against three of the league's top four teams to start the second round.

They face another top-four opponent in Gisborne this weekend, but none of the Storm's last five matches is against a team ranked higher than fifth on the ladder.

There's a feeling that anything is possible for the Storm, especially if they can replicate the effort of last weekend's match against the Hawks.

Langdon said she was pleased by the fighting spirit shown by her team after they had fallen behind by five goals in the final term at Canterbury Park.

"It was great intensity towards the end - everybody really stood up," she said.

"It was the first time in a long time these girls really gelled and we’re positive all game.

"Nobody dropped their head, which was really good to see.

"Our defence end with Claudia Powell and Elyse Morgan in the ring created turnovers, which were able to capitalise on."

Wing defence Jessey Wilson also drew praise from her coach for taking on the tough job on Hawks star Ashley Ryan.

Following a showdown with Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye's rest of the season tosses up an away clash against Maryborough, bottom side Castlemaine, Kangaroo Flat, eighth-placed South Bendigo and ninth-placed Kyneton.

Langdon said her side had learned much from recent clashes against top team Sandhurst, which the Storm lost 49-75, and Golden Score (a 41-73 loss).

While the Storm start the run to the finals and battle for fifth spot a little behind the eight-ball compared to Maryborough and Kangaroo Flat, the first year coach said no one at the club had given up on playing finals.

"The draw at least gives us two points, which is a positive, but the next couple of weeks when we come up against Gisborne and Kangaroo Flat will be the test," Langdon said.

"If we can sneak some wins against them or Maryborough, hopefully that could get us up there, but you just don't know.

"A-grade netball this year s exciting, it's whoever is playing well on the day who can take out the win.

"It's really good for Bendigo netball."

Maryborough and Kangaroo Flat are drawn to play each other this weekend in what shapes as crucial for both.

The Magpies won their earlier season contest at Maryborough by 13 goals, when the Roos without three of their top-liners.