By Mark Heenan
Ocean Grove A Grade netball is in a strong position to secure a prized top three double chance for 2019 BFNL finals ahead of this weekend’s mid-year winter break.
The Grubbers sit in outright third with a 10-2 record after 12 rounds and remain two games clear plus percentage ahead of nearest rivals fourth-placed Modewarre (8-4).
In fact, the Grubbers remain half a game off second spot from Torquay (10-1-1) and BFNL A Grade ladder leaders Geelong Amateur (11-1).
Ocean Grove senior netball coach Elyse Howard credited her club’s depth with two A Grade victories from the past fortnight.
The Grubbers won 52-25 at home over Drysdale on 22 June and posted a 62-22 victory over Anglesea on Saturday.
“Yeah we had a good win.. very patchy but a solid win (over Anglesea),” Howard told the Voice.
“It was a very good to win with five players out (against Drysdale) – shows depth in our team and strength of B graders filling the void.”
Howard who missed the clash against Drysdale with a wrist injury, said a host of players being unavailable and injuries tested its A grade depth in recent weeks.
Defender Lucy Vercher is overseas, starting centre and key mid-season recruit Lillian O’Sullivan is unavailable and playing assistant coach Kate Slattery has a calf injury.
Howard was pleased to have her star goal attack Julia Allan back playing for the Drysdale and Anglesea games after missing several weeks with her work overseas.
“It was great to have Julia back as it just gives us options in the goal circle,” Howard said.
“Really positive for the team having two genuine goal attack options.”
OCEAN Grove A Grade faces a stern test after the break with a Thursday night blockbuster against ladder leader Geelong Amateur on 11 July.
The A grade clash starts at 7pm, while B and E grades will also play at 6pm on the Thursday night.
Home club Geelong Amateur hosts a ladies day function on Saturday 13 July – so A, B and C netball grade matches have been brought forward two days earlier.
Ocean Grove C and D netball grades will take place on Saturday 13 July at Queens Park.
There are no Bellarine Football Netball League games on 6 July due to the mid-season break bye.