Clarence Coast beaten in a thriller

CLARENCE Coast lost a thriller against Ballina All Saints in round three of the Far North Coast Premier League Netball competition at Goonellabah on Saturday.

The Lower Clarence-based side staged a tremendous comeback, but came up short by a single goal to go down 46-47 in an absorbing match.

An eager Coast side gained the ascendency early in the first quarter, skipping away to a four-goal lead on the back of defenders Cobie McCarron and Lauren Wright.

However, the strong Ballina team was quick to step up, realising it had a fight on its hands.

The All Saints rallied and by the end of the quarter were two goals ahead.

Both teams consolidated in the second stanza with limited unforced errors.

The game swung back and forth with every centre pass converted by both teams, and at the end of the first half Clarence trailed 22-23, setting the scene for a great second half.

Some indecision cost Clarence early in the third quarter and within six minutes they found themselves staring down a six-goal deficit. Coast then steadied and began to chip away at the eight-goal lead Ballina had notched up.

With accurate passing through the centre court and perfect ball placement into the goal circle from midcourters Ashlee Hirst and Bianca Birchall, Clarence Coast was once again within striking distance.

As the game progressed into the final quarter Clarence Coast worked extremely hard, and the final 30 seconds were frenetic with the Lower women down by just two goals.

Ballina missed a goal, the rebound was plucked out of the air by McCarron and Chloe Bryant converted a goal, but the buzzer halted Clarence Coast's charge.

Players of the week points went to Cobie McCarron 3, Bridgitte Birchall 2 and Ashlee Hirst 1.

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