Dubbo Netball 2018: Fusion Heat continues dominance ahead of meaningful clash with St Collegians

TUSSLE: Fusion Fire goal shooter Atareta Te-Kanawa wrestles the ball away from St Collegians keeper Dani Smith on Saturday. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE
TUSSLE: Fusion Fire goal shooter Atareta Te-Kanawa wrestles the ball away from St Collegians keeper Dani Smith on Saturday. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

Fusion Heat have continued their dominance of the Dubbo Netball Association’s A Grade competition, claiming victory over the third-placed Fusion Vixens despite their “weakest” performance of the season.

The Heat remain at least five points clear of St Collegians on the competition ladder, and captain Tash Robinson said the side was satisfied that their title defence was on track.

But she took nothing away from her club mates from Fusion Vixens.

“It was a very, very tough, physical game, actually – a lot more physical than the last time we played them,” Robinson said.

“The first half was very slow from us. It took us a long time to get our combinations firing. They made a few changes defensively which stemmed us for a little while but definitely the second half was our half.

“Their attack was very slick, they had our heads turning early.”

Britt Hill was the standout for Heat, Robinson said, the wing attack making life easier for her skipper in goal defence.

“Defensively she was just everywhere, getting intercepts,” she said.

“Up the defensive end and through the middle as well, she’s just such a workhorse.”

Fusion Heat will continue their tough end to the season with a game against the second-placed St Collegians this Saturday.

Tthe top-of-the-table clash will carry even more meaning than usual, as the Heat will have the plight of teammate Maddie Croft front of mind.

Croft’s 12-year-old sister Molly was diagnosed osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer which mainly affects children and young adults, just last week. The diagnosis has turned the Croft family’s world upside-down.

“Collegians is always classy on the court so it will be a big game for us,” Robinson said.

​“At some point or another all of our team and all of their team have played with each other, there’s always going to be a rivalry but at the end of the day if we win.

“We’re hoping to put a really strong game against them but also for Maddie … Get the win for Maddie and give them something to look forward to. A big game and lots of emotion this weekend so it will be a cracker.”

A win would go a long way to securing the minor premiership for the Heat, as well as a top-two finish and “second chance” during the finals.

Robinson was confident the Heat are “on track”.

“We started off strong. I think the game at the weekend was our weakest so to still come away with a win was great,” she said.

“We’re still pretty confident going into finals, we want to hang onto top spot and get a second chance at the finals, because come finals nothing is promised, nothing is set in stone.”