Streak faces ultimate test

June 29, 2017

Murchison-Toolamba playing coach Alice Cunningham says her team is prepared for the next month of tough contests.

Murchison-Toolamba is in a purple patch that has helped the it rise to fourth on the table following seven consecutive wins.

But Nagambie is the team standing in its way, with a streak like Murchison-Toolamba’s nothing new for the Lakers.

Abby Misiti’s side has not dropped a game since round one against Avenel, while last year the team’s first loss came in round 17 as the side marched to a grand final appearance.

Grasshoppers coach Alice Cunningham said her side had been preparing for the next month of facing some of the toughest sides in the competition.

‘‘Experience is pretty important in this league, Nagambie are obviously a very strong club and have a great reputation of being a strong club, let alone strong on the court, so we know what we’re up against, but this year our playing group has really strong hearts and is a really good type of group,’’ Cunningham said.

With Cunningham returning to the league after an extended period away, she will be taking notes on what the Lakers of this year look like.

‘‘I haven’t seen the Nagambie side for five years, so I’m guessing it’s changed a little bit, so we’ve been focusing on our own game as opposed to matching the opposition’s and hopefully we can pick out things for finals,’’ she said.

Cunningham has had to adjust her side in the absence of her centre and sister Jessica, who ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in round nine against Girgarre.

But Jessica will remain a fixture at games, coaching from the sidelines to help out Alice, as players including Georgia Eddy and Kristy Jackson step into her position.

Alice was hopeful everything the side had been building towards across the past seven games would continue to show on Saturday.

‘‘(The wins) have been great for our confidence and everything, but we have four tough games ahead of us and this is what we’ve been working towards, this end of the season,’’ she said.

A win to Undera last week kept the Lions in the six, but the extent of time left in the top half of the ladder looks shaky with a match against Violet Town this week.

Merrigum has a must win game against Rushworth as the Bulldogs eye off a finals appearance, while Avenel continues its charge against Lancaster.

Longwood is in line for another severe loss this week when it travels to Tallygaroopna, while Stanhope starts favourite against Girgarre.

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