AUSTRALIAN masters’ striker Nan Latta will only add further strength to a resurgent Norths as they continue their climb up the ladder.
Last year’s beaten grand finalist has emerged from the pack in women’s Division 1 hockey after a 5-1 thumping of fourth-placed Magpies on Sunday.
Teenage striker Jaymie Plas was a key to the victory, bagging four goals for the game.
Norths stalwart Leah Wilesmith said the rise of their young guns was the key to recent wins that now have them in second spot.
“Having Nan playing in the World Cup in Holland has put a little more responsibility on the young girls and they have responded really well,” she said.
“They are now taking their chances and the result of that was four goals for Jaymie at the weekend, while we also have Emerald Beath playing well up front and Brooke Purtell back from injury among a group of teenagers who have taken the step up this year.
“Who knows, Nan (Latta) might have to work for her spot when she gets back.”
Wilesmith downplayed suggestions the club was looking for redemption after being favoured to win last year’s grand final against Falcons.
“I think people saw us as favourites because of our finals experience,” she said.
“But realistically it was a 50:50 game between the two sides throughout the year.”
In other games United shared the goals around in a 3-0 win over Beechworth, while Wodonga scored five goals in easily accounting for Wombats to open up a five-point gap between fourth and fifth.
In the men’s division 1 United maintained its grip on top spot with a 4-1 win against Beechworth, while Wombats and Magpies both scored seven goals in thumping Wodonga and Norths respectively.