Valuable trio keep Ipswich flying high
NETBALL: When a team is performing consistently, it's highly likely newcomers are making an impact.
That's the case with the second-placed Ipswich Flyers in this year's Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition.
After their latest 80-50 win over QUT, Flyers coach Nicole Grant was keen to praise Abbey Gallagher, Charisma "Chris'' Tuupo and Meg Bowmaker for their contributions this season.
"Our new Flyers members each bring something valuable to the team,'' Grant said.
"Abbey is incredibly strong in the mid court, Chris has incredible agility and Meg brings versatility in both the attack and defence end.''
Gallagher and Bowmaker have played in all nine games for the Flyers this year. Ipswich has just one loss to defending champions Goodna who remain unbeaten.
Tuupo is managing a knee injury after damaging her ACL last year.
Bowmaker previously played for the Queensland Suns in the men's and mixed competitions.
Gallagher and Tuupo have played at SEQ Cup level in previous seasons for different associations.
"They are all team players who fit right in with the Flyers culture,'' Grant said.
"They are always trying to better themselves by pushing themselves as hard as they can at training and in games. They are very committed to the team.
"All three players added to our team's defensive pressure in last week's game.''
Preparing for Thursday night's game against Cornubia Park, Grant was happy with the Flyers' progress, especially with her the full-court defensive effort against QUT.
"The team are building every week,'' she said.
"We are beating teams by larger margins in round two than when we played them in round one. This is exactly where we want to be in the second half of the season.''
Another standout Ipswich performer has been Selena Hirsch. She shot at 100% for the first three quarters against QUT.
Tahlia Vandenberg also returned after having a week off with a knee injury.
Grant said Vandenberg and Melissa Beutel had an outstanding first half together in defence.
Grant said playing at the upgraded Queensland State Netball Centre was enjoyable.
"It's a fantastic facility,'' she said. "It's really positive to see netball being played in a quality facility that focuses on all levels of the game.
" I know the girls are keen to have a game on the show court should the opportunity arise.''
Grant said the Flyers appreciated the regular Ipswich supporters making the trip to Mt Gravatt for games.
"The supporters lift the team to new levels, especially when they are vocal in their encouragement,'' the experienced netballer said.
"For the supporters that can't make it, the Flyers Facebook page posts quarterly updates and the girls enjoy reading the supportive comments after each game.''
State of play
QPL SEQ Cup Rd 11: Thursday - Pool A: 6.30pm - Goodna Sapphires v QUT; Ipswich Flyers v Cornubia Park. Pool B: Ipswich Vipers bye.
Rd 10 results: Ipswich Flyers def QUT 80-50, Goodna Sapphires def Pine Rivers 80-41, Western Districts def Ipswich Vipers 57-43.