Netball | Wodonga Bulldogs frantic finish draws attention

WODONGA has set an unenviable new benchmark in the Ovens and Murray netball with its fourth draw of the season.

For the second time this year the Bulldogs and Corowa-Rutherglen couldn’t be separated at the final siren.

Earlier in the year the scores were locked 47 apiece at the John Foord Oval and on Saturday the scores finished at 61-all in what was a frantic last quarter.

Goal shooters from both sides were almost unstoppable in the last stanza with a total of 37 goals, about one every 24 seconds, in the final 15 minutes at John Flower Oval.

A long range penalty shot after the siren from Bec Cameron, which bounced in and then out, could have given the Dogs all four points but coach Kylie Murphy said it shouldn’t have had to come to that.

“Bec was dirty on herself but we shouldn’t have let it get to that,” she said.

“It was a tough game and Corowa play a high-intensity, fast-paced game that really stretched us on Saturday.

“In a way they needed the win to guarantee their spot in the finals and we knew that before we took to the court so there are no excuses.

“Neither side could get a break — we’d be up by two goals and they draw level, get one in front and then we would fight back, it just went back and forth all day.”

Wodonga’s star shooter Jane Cook was limited to a half game by the Victorian Flames after she played in the second tier national competition on Friday night.

“The shooters at both ends were outstanding — Jane was great when she came on at half-time and Bec Cameron was great too. But Corowa’s young shooter Sophie Hanrahan killed us again, she did the same in the first round draw — she shot a high percentage but had the ball in her hands something like 53 times in the game.

“We needed to dry up the supply from the mid court but they were just consistently finding her in space.”

Murphy said they needed to win all three of their remaining games to be guaranteed a second chance, perhaps even top spot. Wins on Saturday to Lavington and Yarrawonga now put last year’s grand finalists four and two points ahead of the Bulldogs.

“Four draws I think is a world record,” Murphy said.

Elsewehere, North Albury made up for its shock loss to Wangaratta in the first round with a comfortable 19-goal win to be just 1½ wins off top spot.

Defender Jordan Farrugia, goal attack Sophie Robertson and mid-courter Emma Schulz were best for the Hoppers at Bunton Park.