Article Credit: The Daily Advertiser.
They’ve lost two key bookends, but Wagga Tigers teenage talent Leila Wadley proved she can help fill the void with a superb display in Saturday’s 73-37 season-opening win at Leeton-Whitton.
The 15-year-old shooter has been ushered into the fold to replace the departed Lana Duffy and was voted best on court in her A-grade debut.
Wagga is seeking a fourth straight Riverina League title, and will blood more youngsters in the Good Friday stand-alone fixture at Turvey Park with some first grade regulars away for the long weekend.
Seventeen-year-old defender Abby Morton will replace Grace Cornell in defence as she juggles netball with her basketball commitments with Waratah League side Wagga Blaze.
Tigers captain Jess Allen said the dominance of the round one win was a welcome surprise after the changes to their line-up, but was a confidence boost for the youngster that they’re ready for the step up.
“It was a good first hit out considering we’ve got a new and young team this year, and trying a few different combinations,” Allen said.
“It was surprising, Leeton are always pretty tough but we stuck to what we wanted to do, what works for us and got a decent win.
“Abby didn’t play on the weekend but Leila had her debut and killed it. She’s still got a lot of room to improve, the main thing is getting that confidence, but she fit in really well.”
Allen said the squad has belief they can continue their dominance and said the Good Friday clash gives them a chance to build momentum with the rest of the competition on hiatus.
“We definitely still have the team to do it, it’s a chance for the young girls to prove they can step up to it.
“I can’t remember every playing on the Easter weekend, it’s probably a bonus to keep playing and work on our game.
“We’ve got a few players away this week so it’s another chance for younger girls to prove themselves.”
The match begins at Turvey Park on Friday at 1.30pm.