WHEN Danita Lane lined up for Bulldogs Verdelho in the Bathurst Netball Association A grade competition she was a focal point in attack - now she is playing a similar role for another team.
Lane is a member of the inaugural Bathurst Giants women’s side and on Saturday in their round three Central West AFL match against Cowra, she showed she is adjusting well to the new sporting code.
Using the height and strength that makes her a threat as goal shooter when on the netball court, Lane won plenty of ball in the ruck then made her presence felt on the scoreboard when shuffled forward.
She was one of the standouts for the Giants as they posted a 20-16-136 to 1-0-6 victory over the Blues at George Park 1.
“We moved Danita Lane from the ruck into centre-half-forward and she found the football – she was outstanding, absolutely outstanding,” Giants coach Liz Kennedy said.
“She’s a big, tall girl and was a target for us. She’s from netball, so she’s got a big, strong reach as well. She’s a great catch and her kicking is coming along.”
The win continued the Giants’ impressive start to the season – they are currently undefeated and sit on top of the ladder with an impressive percentage of 1255. While they are yet to face last year’s grand finalists in Dubbo and the Lady Bushrangers, it has still been an impressive effort.
“Cowra certainly did try hard, they’re a group of young girls and they’re developing just as we are,” Kennedy said.
“[That] Makes these wins just as sweet because these girls haven’t played before, but they are from a sporting background, so they have that competitiveness.
“As I’ve said before, only four of them have played football before … it’s just blown me away.”
The opening term saw the Giants quickly take control, booting five-goals-five while keeping their rivals scoreless. Just as Lane impressed, so too did another newcomer to the sport in Tamara Thompson as she racked up a host of possessions in attack.
By half-time the Giants led 75-0 and with the win assured, Kennedy changed things up for the third term.
“I gave them free rein in that third quarter, the only thing they had to do was that as soon as they got it inside 50, they had to kick, they had to have a shot at goal,” she said.
“That was just to try and get them to start going for the long goals. Other than that, I let them pretty much try whatever they wanted to try in that third quarter.”
This Saturday the Giants will face their biggest test yet when coming up against three-time defending premiers the Lady Bushrangers. It’s a prospect which excites Kennedy.
“I am really looking forward to next week, it will really give us an indication of where we need to be. We’ve played three other teams, but with Bushrangers being the absolute benchmark of the competition – I’m really looking forward to it to see where we actually sit,” she said.