Siarn Woods and Laura Bamford-Cleland both had had strong shooting weekends for the Coffs Harbour Suns.
Siarn Woods and Laura Bamford-Cleland both had had strong shooting weekends for the Coffs Harbour Suns. Claudia Jambor

Suns oh so close against Waratah League benchmark

THEY may have lost the battle but the Coffs Harbour Suns women’s team certainly believes it’s now capable of winning the war.

The Suns narrowly lost on Sunday to the unbeaten Wagga Blaze and coach Connie Woods thinks the girls have taken a lot of confidence from the result.

“It was an eye-opener for the girls to realise how competitive they are and if you take their (Wagga Blaze) import out, they can beat any team there,” Woods said.

“The more experienced girls who’ve been around for a few years knew it but it just helps with the younger ones to know there isn’t a team there that they couldn’t beat on their day.”

She added the Suns could’ve actually won the match having led by five points late in the final quarter.

“The last minute and a half was a little bit of a mess,” she lamented.

The fact the Suns led late in the contest was testament to the determination within the group considering the Blaze led at various stages throughout the contest by as much as 10 points.

Each time Wagga looked like pulling away though, the Suns showed plenty of fight to continually get the contest back on level terms.

As strong as the Suns’ spirit was, it still wasn’t enough to counter the shooting of Wagga import Saadia Doyle who scored a game high 34 points.

“It was virtually her versus Coffs,” the coach said.

The Suns were strong in offence though. Jordon Woods led the way with 21 points while Ellie Hewitt, Siarn Woods and Laura Bamford-Cleland were all prominent on the score sheet.

The girls did taste some success at the weekend when they won the first game of their weekend double header at Minto against Shoalhaven.

The Suns jumped their opponents and never eased off on their defensive pressure to beat the Tigers 89-57.

Bamford-Cleland led the scoring with 31 points while Jordon Woods chimed in with a valuable 23 points to get her points scoring weekend off to a great start.

“We’ve got so many scorers which is good,” the coach said.

“We’re not relying on one player. Laura usually scores quite a few points for us but she didn’t so much in our Newcastle game but everybody else did. So we’ve always got someone who can step up and score, it’s just a matter of who’s on.

“On the weekend there was certainly quite a few of them who were on so it was great.”

The weekend wasn’t as joyous for the men’s team.

Travelling to Tamworth is always a difficult assignment but the Thunderbolts are in hot form this year and it continued against the Suns.

Despite Joshua Brooke scoring a game high 27 points for the Suns, the even spread of contributors for Tamworth proved too much to counter and the Thunderbolts ran away in the second half to record a convincing 43 point win.

The Suns men are now looking forward to playing a home game for only the third time in two months when they play Central Coast Crusaders on Sunday. Tip-off is at 11am.

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