Vipers' victory with a bit of cheeky emotion
NETBALL: The victorious Ipswich Vipers had every right to be a bit cheeky after a milestone performance this season.
The Ipswich Netball Association-based development side had just won their first match of the Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition in a thrilling contest.
Delighted coach Peta Verdasco shared the buzz of excitement after the Vipers' 38-37 win over Downey Park.
"This win was weeks of hard work and determination in the making, and the girls were ecstatic,'' she said, providing a selfie capturing some of her team's emotion.
"It was just what the girls needed to boost their confidence and reassure them that the team is gelling together.''
The round 7 match wasn't decided until the final seconds with both teams deadlocked at 37-all. Vipers shooter Breyden Lemusu sealed the win.
"One of their defenders contacted our shooter giving us a penalty shot or pass right on the full-time buzzer,'' Verdasco said.
"Our shooters took the penalty shot and scored the winning goal. It was such a hard fought game from both teams that both deserved to, but we were absolutely thrilled to win.''
Looking after a new team, Verdasco was eager to see how the Vipers' playing group progresses following their win.
"It just puts their minds at ease that all the hard work they are putting in to their training and games is finally paying off,'' she said.
"The girls have been bonding and growing stronger each week as a team and this was reflected in their game.''
Vipers captain Simone Robertson shared the satisfaction.
"It just proves that with persistence and dedication to training and each other, we win games,'' Robertson said. "It can only get better as the season goes on."
Proud coach Verdasco praised her shooters Breydon, Matina Stoessel and Masilina Kurukitoga for their efforts.
"The shooters worked with the Ipswich Jets girls recently and I think this has helped our shooters bring their own game but to also be able to adjust and work well with each other,'' Verdasco said.
The Vipers' defence has also stood up in recent games, led by vice-captain Mikaela Elton, Sonya Ngau and Chante Cook.
"The girls step up at every game and it's excellent to see,'' the coach said.
The Vipers' mid-court of Brenda Flux, Taylor Hudspith, Elise Cullen-Malezer and Deanne Kertesz has tackled its own challenges due to changes needed with skipper Robertson recovering from a minor knee injury.
"The team as a whole has progressively worked extremely hard at bringing their game and court play together, with our attack end getting better each week and showing signs of great things to come,'' Verdasco said.
"It is such an awesome reward as a coach when our supporters say to you that they can see an improvement each time the girls step onto the court.''
The Vipers tackle Carina in their next match on Thursday night at the State Netball Centre.
The Ipswich Flyers play Redlands after last week's 48-35 win over Underwood Park.
The unbeaten Goodna Sapphires return to the court on Thursday night against Underwood Park after their bye last week.
State of play
QPL SEQ Cup Rd 8: Thursday - 6.30pm: Ipswich Vipers v Carina. 7.50pm: Ipswich Flyers v Redlands; Goodna Sapphires v Underwood Park.
Rd 7: Ipswich Flyers def Underwood Park 48-35; Ipswich Vipers def Downey Park 38-37.