Tigers cubs ready for fresh start

Tarnee Hammond (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Oliver Lees

New Lancefield coach Ciara Stewart is confident her young squad can take positive strides this season in the Riddell District Netball League.

Stewart has taken over the top job after leaving Macedon and is faced with the challenge of rebuilding the Tigers, who were winless last season.

Across A-grade and B-grade the Tigers have retained eight players from last season and brought in 11 new faces.

Stewart said there had been a great energy among the group throughout the pre-season.

“They’re a really fresh group which is nice,” she said.

“They’re a very young group.”

“We’ve had practice matches and won a couple too. They’re not used to winning games and not used to scoring so many goals, so it’s a big achievement for the girls.”

The Tigers played their first game of the season on Saturday against Diggers Rest.

It was a winning start for the Tigers.

After jumping out of the blocks and leading 16-9 at quarter time, the Tigers were able to extend the margin to 12 goals at half time.

The Burras were able to decrease that to nine goals at the final change.

The Tigers didn’t let nerves come into it, winning, 54-33.

Tarnee Hammond shot 23 goals for the Tigers, while Shanae Brundell shot 16.

Karlee Bruno and Eve Trainor were among their best.

Speaking before the weekend, Stewart said she was filled with confidence.

“I’m hopeful for a win,” she said.

“One win is going to be like a grand final, particularly for the girls who have been here for a long time.”

One young player who will be pushing for a run in the A-grade side is Tarnee Hammond.

Hammond was a stand out contributor in B-grade last year, leading the competition with 401 goals scored.

Stewart said she had been putting in a mountain of work to improve her game.

“Tarnee is a very accurate goaler,” she said.

“We’re going to look at the opposition and the makeup of our A-grade and B-grade sides on a weekly basis.

“Where appropriate she’ll come in. She’s a young girl who has a lot of potential, we’ve been doing one-on-one sessions on Saturdays.”

Mia Daly has been selected to captain the A-grade side this season.

Stewart said Daly’s captaincy was a just reward for her years of loyalty to the club.

“She leads from the front, she’s the voice, she sets the example for everyone to be their best on the court,” she said.

“She was desperate to be captain, she’s played a long time and has never had that privilege.

“She’s one of the players who stuck with the club when they hadn’t won a game.”

Bella Collodetti has been named as vice-captain, however she is currently recovering from a foot injury that will see her miss the start of the season.

In other results, Wallan snuck home against Romsey in a thriller.

Riddell opened with a big win against Macedon, winning 56-35.

Meredith Ball shot 29 goals for the Bombers, while Christie Brinkhuis shot 19 goals for the Cats.