THE BFNL's 17-and-under representative team's 2019 campaign is off to a promising start after a silver medal finish in Sunday's Shepparton Netball Association Tournament.
Coach Melinda Keighran's team won 11 of 12 matches contested on the day, but unfortunately fell three goals short of a strong Ovens and Murray team in the grand final.
The BFNL had beaten Ovens and Murray twice during the minor rounds by three goals and by one goal.
Keighran said her side had performed with plenty of skill and composure throughout a gruelling schedule of 10 two-eight minute half qualifying round matches, plus a semi-final and grand final.
"Going up to Shepparton was not about winning, even though we were runners-up in the same tournament last year," she said.
"For us it was all about our rotations and combinations - any win you get you take, but it wasn't about the wins.
"It was the first time these 11 girls stepped onto the court together and they gelled really well together. I know we have learned a lot.
"We probably ran out of legs in the end with a few injuries. We missed the rotations."
The BFNL was without Golden Square's Ashlee O'Shea for the last five games through injury.
Keighran said Eaglehawk's Arriah Keogh had pulled up sore early in the day with a back complaint, but had battled through to be a strong contributor.
The BFNL was well led by its sharp-shooting captain and recent Victorian 17-and-under representative Chloe Langley (South Bendigo) and her vice-captain Ruby Turner (Sandhurst), who spent time at both goal defence and goal keeper.
Keighran said Langley, who is playing A-grade this season with the Bloods, but is originally from Castlemaine, and Turner had proven inspired choices as leaders.
"Even at trials, Chloe showed great leadership - she is a young girl evolving in a senior environment," she said.
"Ruby is into her third year with the team and was voted most valuable player last year.
"It's a great reward for her."
Keighran said the Shepparton tournament had provided the team with a solid start to its inter-league and Association Championships' campaigns.
The full team comprised Arriah Keogh (Eaglehawk), Georgia Murray (Gisborne), Abbey Grindal, Abbey Clohesy, Ashlee O'Shea, Kayla Ashcroft (Golden Square), Ruby Turner, Piper Dunlop (Sandhurst), Chloe Langley, Morgan McLennan, and Carissa Brook (South Bendigo).
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