Left chasing Bears’ tails

By Meg Saultry

The pressure valve is building for Benalla after it fell to its fifth straight loss on Saturday, with the Saints’ season hanging in the balance as they fight to break out of their rut.

Wearing the Tatong Football Netball Club’s traditional suits as a tribute to the fallen club in round 6 of the Goulburn Valley League, the Saints failed to bring their A-game to match it with Shepparton, falling short 24-59.

Following another loss, Saints A-grade coach Grace Warnock said the team’s dynamics needed to be addressed in the weeks ahead.

‘‘Most girls live away, so there’s been some restrictions getting to training and that’s showing on the court,’’ Warnock said.

‘‘We just need to put in some more time and effort and hopefully that translates on the court.’’

Benalla’s only win was in its season-opening match against Euroa, but with the Saints’ first six rounds including five of the top six teams this season — including Seymour, Echuca and Shepparton Swans — it’s been a far from ideal start.

‘‘We’re feeling a bit flat, so we need to try and get some wins,’’ Warnock said.

‘‘Our team is good enough, but we’re not jelling as of yet.

‘‘We’re not far behind other teams and certainly not as far behind as the scoreboard is showing.’’

The Saints will be hoping to field a full-strength team following the interleague bye, with key defenders Bridget Hill and Kate Symes due to come back in to the side.

Warnock is hopeful the team will be back on the winners’ board in this next stretch of games, with Rochester the first in its sights.

‘‘There are a few games that we can challenge and if we can get some wins on the board that will lift the girls’ confidence,’’ Warnock said.

In Benalla’s earlier netball matches, B-grade fell to Shepparton 36-56, while B-reserve suffered a brutal 24-77 defeat at the hands of the Bears.

In the junior rounds, the under-17s failed to match it against a stronger Shepparton side in their 24-45 loss, while the under-13s continue to hunt for their first win of the season after their 23-75 dismissal.