A BREAKTHROUGH win against Kangaroo Flat has boosted Strathfieldsaye's confidence as the halfway mark of the BFNL 17-and-under season draws nearer.
After a string of competitive performances through the first six games, including a narrow loss to Eaglehawk in their season opener, the Storm finally found themselves on the positive side of the ledger in a thrilling 53-51 victory over the Roos.
The win lifted the Storm to sixth place on the ladder, as one of four teams with a 1-4 record, behind South Bendigo, but above Kangaroo Flat and Castlemaine on percentage.
The Storm will get a chance to build on that record when they clash with the Magpies this weekend, ahead of clashes against South Bendigo and Maryborough, which is without a win this season.
A hotly contested game at Dower Park ebbed and flowed, with the Roos taking the ascendancy into quarter time, before the Storm stepped up the intensity in the second term.
The Storm were able to control the contest in the third term, before the Roos created some momentum in the last quarter to edge within two goals by the final siren.
Storm coach Fiona Schubert-Mundy viewed the win as a reward for her players' hard work, after negotiating a run of tough matches against the league's top four teams.
"To my players credit they fought the game out to come away with the win," she said.
"With a number of our normal team unavailable last week it was pleasing to provide opportunities to our division one girls, who play on a Friday night at BSNA, to step on court in the 17s competition and contribute positively to our win last Saturday."
The players are so supportive of each other and work strongly as a team unit.- Fiona Schubert-Mundy
A confidence-boosting win for the Storm was aided by a 'tenacious' game at centre and wing defence by Lilli Delaney, who won strong praise from her coach.
"She created numerous turnovers for the team and linked the defence and attack end together strongly," Schubert-Mundy said.
"The second award went to Ava Hamilton, who worked tirelessly in the attack end and accurately goaled all day."
Schubert-Mundy, who is in her second season as the Storm's 17-and-under coach, said a clash against Castlemaine would provide a chance to put into practice what her players have been working on at training.
"It will provide us with another great opportunity to play some talented young players in our competition and test how our team is developing and hopefully build on last week's win," she said.
"We will have our full team back this week, including our captain Angelica Jack, who can hopefully lead our team to another win this week.
"I have been particularly impressed with the player's intensity at training and ability to continually encourage and work towards our team goals despite the outcome of the game.
"The players are so supportive of each other and work strongly as a team unit."
In other games last weekend, Golden Square consolidated its spot in the top three with a 47-33 win over fourth-placed Eaglehawk, top of the ladder Sandhurst defeated Castlemaine 72-18, and second-paced Gisborne beat Maryborough 64-10.
Golden Square and Sandhurst will clash in Saturday's match of the round, while Eaglehawk hosts Gisborne, and South Bendigo clashes with Kangaroo Flat.
Ladder: Sandhurst 6-0 (254.09 per cent); Gisborne 5-0 (237.88); Golden Square 5-0 (136.93); Eaglehawk 4-2 (106.37); South Bendigo 1-4 (94.42); Strathfieldsaye 1-4 (71.13); Kangaroo Flat 1-4 (66.41); Castlemaine 1-4 (53.31; Maryborough 0-6 (41.59).
Kyneton does not have a 17-and-under team
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