The return of premiership-winning defender Kimberley Goodearl was not enough to save Hunter United as they went down 42-38 to Eastwood Ryde in Metro League division one.
The loss on Thursday night was the defending champions’ sixth of the year and fourth by four goals or less.
The squad’s roster has been in flux in recent rounds with star defender Angela Williams still being bedded back into the side after a long-term foot injury. Stretched thin, the club called on an emergency player for the round 12 match.
Goodearl, who played for United in their title-winning campaign last year, stepped in as goal keeper at the last minute and partnered Veronica Smith in the defensive circle.
Hunter coach Traci Baber confirmed most of the squad’s players would be back for the next round.
In the third division, Hunter United’s second team came up against the finals-bound St George, who cut short the Diamonds’ two-game run. The 42-52 defeat drops Hunter four points behind Camden on 10 points.
** In round 10 of the Super Netball competition, Newcastle’s Sam Poolman will line up for GWS Giants against Sydney Swifts on Sunday (5pm) at the International Convention Centre.
Also Sunday, Adelaide Thunderbirds host Collingwood Magpies (12.30pm).
On Saturday, Queensland welcome Melbourne (3pm) and West Coast Fever are at home against Sunshine Coast Lightning (7pm).
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