THE Harden 9s Bendigo Bank side took on a determined Cootamundra team at home on Saturday on July 21.
Aiming to finish the season strongly, further pressure was added when a representative of their major sponsor’s Harden branch appeared on the sideline, keen to see how their sponsorship dollars were being invested.
Going into the match confidently, the locals soon found that, unlike their first round encounter, they were going to have to work hard to get the points this time. Harden started strongly and often found themselves in good field position, however the Coota goalie was outstanding, saving three or four bullet like shots from Mitchell Brown.
And, when Coota managed to find themselves in the Harden goal square, they were able to beat Harden’s defense and open the scoring.
Down 1 -0 at the break, a quick pep talk from the coach let them know just how hard they needed to work to get themselves back into this one.
The second half was just as tense as the first, with Clementine Flanery levelling the scores after some great lead up work from Lexie Adam.
Mikey Fenney was outstanding as goalie in the second half, with some great diving saves and safe hands in his goal square.
Loren Daley and Hayley Chesworth kept attacking, however it was looking like Harden was going to have to settle for a draw until, with barely 30 seconds left on the clock, Joie Whybrow sent the ball whistling over the Coota goalie’s head and into the back of the net to steal the game for Harden 2 -1.
The match was a great work out before the finals, and the proud sponsor will no doubt inform his board about the great value of their investment.