Talent to Byrne and positive talk to match

May 15, 2017

Echuca's Bridget Byrne encouraged her Goulburn Valley League teammates during the under-17 match against Ovens and Murray.

The encouragement coming from the Goulburn Valley League’s defensive end was easy to hear as Bridget Byrne tried to spur on her teammates.

The Echuca defender was giving her attackers plenty of encouragement as the GV spent most of its under-17 match against Ovens and Murray working back a deficit.

With just one goal the margin in favour of the GV in extra time, Byrne,15, formed part of a tireless defensive pair as she worked alongside Mansfield’s Nelle Cousins.

Playing four quarters, plus the first period of extra time before being rested in the second, Byrne remained just as vocal off the court, saying it was a natural part of her game.

‘‘I think it’s really important to have that positive talk all the time and it really lifts the team,’’ she said.

‘‘I think my dad (2001 and 2002 Echuca premiership player Ashley) was like that on the football field and I guess I got that from him.

‘‘It was super-exciting just to be a part of it, it was great, it’s a real team atmosphere.’’

Byrne played an integral role in the match, despite almost not competing in the thrilling interleague match at all.

Chosen as a training partner, she received the call-up into the team after Shepparton goal keeper Sophie Damon had to pull out from the match due to injury.

The deficit in the match blew out to as much as eight goals in the first quarter before the GV took back the lead in the third term.

But at the final break, the margin was again six goals in the favour of Ovens and Murray.

Byrne remained positive her side would finish the game on the right side of the ledger, even if nerve-wracking extra time had to be played.

‘‘It was a great quality of netball, it was stressful,’’ Byrne said.

‘‘I knew we were going to come back, I felt it all along in that second quarter, when we won that quarter by how ever many (10 goals) and kept them to so little it was awesome, you could just feel it.

‘‘Their goalers were very accurate and our goalers were too, the team pressure down the court really helped everyone.’’

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