Hunter United Emeralds have been defeated by another short margin in the Dooley’s Metro League, as the competitive squad continues to fall victim to the rub of the green.
It’s been the tale of the season for Newcastle’s representative squad in the state league, with their 38-42 defeat at the hands of Eastwood Ryde on Thursday evening the fourth loss in twelve games to be decided by four goals or less.
The squad’s roster has also been in flux in recent rounds, with star defender Angela Williams still being bedded back into the side after a long-term foot injury. Stretched thin, the club was forced to call on an emergency player for the twelfth round match.
Kimberley Goodearl – who played for United in their title-winning campaign last year – stepped in as keeper last-minute and played as a partner for Veronica Smith in the defensive circle.
Emeralds coach Traci Baber confirmed most of the squad’s players would be back for the next round however, with the bye round last week giving the squad “enough time to recover”.
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In the third division, Hunter United’s second team came up against the finals-bound St George, who cut short the Diamonds’ two-game run. The 42-52 defeat drops the young starlets four points behind Camden on 10 points.
The Diamonds will have a chance to shorten that gap next week however, as their round thirteen clash sees them taking on the eighth placed squad and offers them another shot to climb the ladder.
The Emeralds will face a strong challenge in the thirteenth round, as they come up against league-leaders Illawarra, who have lost just three games all season.
United will be confident despite the disparity between positions on the ladder – they handed Illawarra one of those three defeats back in the fourth round, as they scored a 47-42 over last year’s fourth-placed team.
FIRST DIVISION TABLE: Illawarra* (13), Hills District, Northern Suburbs, St George (12), Randwick (11), Eastwood Ryde*, Baulkham Hills (10), Hunter United*, Ku-ring-gai (8), Bankstown City (0). *one game in hand.