Impressive mid-court display by St Mary’s

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Up and in . . . St Marys Gold goal shoot Amy Egan has an easy access to her shot with both Knapdale defenders out of play. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

A dominant mid-court zone sealed the first win of the premier grade season for St Mary’s Gold.

St Mary’s were impressive, beating Knapdale A 37-16 at the MLT Events Centre on Saturday.

It was the through-court pressure that enabled St Mary’s to pick up turnover ball and set it up for its circle defenders to come out and hunt for intercepts.

The first quarter was a tight tussle, going goal-for-goal, but in the second quarter St Mary’s came out with intent.

Its mid-courters moved the ball quickly, finding goal shoot Amy Egan with space under the post.

The defensive duo of Leiana Hayward and Leah Gardyne were good in the circle, putting Knapdale under pressure.

St Mary’s coach Anna Stiven said the mid-court zone was effective, and was pleased with how the side went in the first game.

“It’s something we probably do often and have found it quite effective,” Stiven said.

“It was a tight close game in that first quarter, and being that first game back we took a bit to adjust, but once our through-court defence got going, we got a bit more accurate shooting and we relaxed letting the ball go we went well.”

Knapdale coach Margie Halford said St Mary’s were a good test for the first match, and it could have been closer if her side was more consistent.

“Defensively we were strong and able to turn over the ball on a number of occasions,” Halford said.

“Just the normal start-of-the-season jitters .. we have a number of new combinations so [it was] good to try them out.”

She was pleased with the first quarter, but said her team was not able to close the gap after the strong second stanza by St Mary’s.

“The girls enjoyed the game, which was played in good competitive spirits.

“St Mary’s are always a lovely clean team to play who I think are going to do well. They looked sharp and connected.”