Bombers aim high

Chelsea Tobin has had a positional switch this season. (Shawn Smits)

Tara Murray

Riddell is hoping with its full squad together it can make a run at finals in the Riddell District Netball League.

The Bombers sat sixth at the half way mark of the season a game and half outside the top five.

Speaking before Saturday’s match, Bombers coach Adam Boldiston said they hadn’t had any luck with having all their squad on court together.

“We haven’t had our full nine players yet,” he said.

“The first seven rounds we consistently had fill-ins and were struggling to get seven on the court, let alone our nine that we have on the list.

“We’ve had players come up from B-grade to make up the numbers and players playing out of position.”

Boldiston said they had been hit with a number of different reasons for players missing games.

He said most of the group had COVID-19 at some point, while some have also had the flu and then there’s been work and holidays as well.

The last two rounds before the bye, the Bombers had eight of their nine players and were starting to see the connections build.

“Consistency has been a real issue,” Boldiston said.

“Loz [Lauren Nolan] is finally back from having her second baby and has played a couple of rounds.

“Loz and Beck [Anstey] are both experienced but they’re now getting a better understanding of working together,

“Ellen [Close] is working with the midcourt which has been a different challenge for her. Shelby [Holter] is getting her confidence back up again.

“We’re trying to get her back to where she was a couple of years ago.”

Boldiston said he had been really impressed with the development of Chelsea Tobin, who was naturally an attacking midcourter, but was playing wing defence this season.

He said there were a couple of young girls who were really impressing him as well.

“Mady Brown is just 16,” he said. “She’s improving every week and gaining confidence.

“Fionnuala McKeagney Stubbs had been in the under-17 Australian team. She can play anywhere on the court.

“She started as a goaler and then in defence. She plays for the City West Falcons in the midcourt now.

“She’s had school netball, but we hope we’ll have her for a large part of the second half of the season.”

Boldiston said consistency was something they had lacked across their other sides at times, but all sides were still in the finals mix.

Boldiston said despite the slow start to the season, finals was still the aim for them in all grades, especially A-grade.

On Saturday, they lost to Woodend-Hesket.

It leaves a big task for them to play finals.

“I’ve told the girls we’ll need to win seven of nine games to ensure finals. We’re going for nine from nine,” he said before Saturday’s match.

“With our combinations and if we’re playing to our potential we can beat any side.”