A review of Round 10 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 10 – Greensborough 1 vs North Heidelberg 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A frantic Section 1 match saw Greensborough keep their composure against North Heidelberg to come out on top.
The opening minutes of play were up and down with both sides having a shaky start.
North Heidelberg were first to settle into the match with a goal from GA Kate Butler.
Defensively, the Bulldogs had the better of Greensborough in the first quarter. with GK Kristie Parks positioning herself well in the circle to put pressure on the Boro to shoot from further out.
Halfway through the quarter, Greensborough started to make better connections with each other across the court, with Olivia Ellis helping to move the ball from end to end extremely well.
North Heidelberg started to make errors with the Boro increasing their defensive pressure and causing held balls. By the end of the first quarter, the scores were level 12 all, setting the stage for a thriller between the section’s third and second-place teams.
With the centre pass the Bulldogs way they were quick to move into attack with GS Rebecca Colwell scoring, however, Boro shooter GS Chantelle Power nailed her shot on goal, keeping the teams even.
Roughly five minutes into the quarter North Heidelberg GD Lauren Byrnes rebounded a missed goal and gave her team the opportunity to pull out in front and they did.
Greensborough lifted in defence once North Heidelberg had a lead and GK Charlie Seivers was particularly influential coming off her opponent to intercept the ball when she could.
Despite Greensborough starting to look dangerous North Heidelberg continued to push onwards, finding ways to intercept the ball and capitalise.
The intense contest between the two sides came to a halt with North Heidelberg WD Ebony Ellis and Greensborough WA Madison Carroll tripping over each other and both colliding with the floor.
Unfortunately, injury time had to be called as Ellis was injured in the clash and needed to be aided off the court, leaving the Bulldogs with only six players.
Greensborough was quick to capitalise on having a free player on the court and were able to draw level with North Heidelberg again before the Bulldogs settled into not having a wing defence.
To combat the loss of Ellis, Bulldogs GD Byrnes was impressive, coming off her direct opponent to try and confuse the space in the Boro’s attacking end before the ball reached the goal circle.
The third quarter saw North Heidelberg sitting two goals ahead once again, however, Greensborough came out firing.
Boro GS Chantelle Power capitalised on a held ball from North Heidelberg by scoring an impressive goal as she was falling out of court, lessening the Bulldogs lead to one.
A break from the Boro allowed North Heidelberg to extend their lead once again, however, Greensborough kept pushing with impressive one on one work and an intercept from Olivia Ellis.
Greensborough lifted in attack with both shooters following in their few missed goals to rebound and then score. A held ball from North Heidelberg resulted in another Boro goal and after another confident goal suddenly the teams were tied again.
As pressure mounted on North Heidelberg a rushed pass resulted in a step and finally, Greensborough hit the front with a long bomb from GA Bianca Power.
With the centre pass in favour of the Boro from there, the girls powered home in the third quarter with C Isabelle Conroy and WA Carroll feeding the ball into the circle with ease as North Heidelberg continued to play without a wing defence.
Defensively Greensborough continued to put pressure on North Heidelberg and created turnovers that put them ahead by three goals at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter continued the way the third quarter ended with Greensborough putting on a dominant performance across the court as North Heidelberg faded away.
Despite the fade, the Bulldogs still had some good play from C Stacey Parks, who worked tirelessly to try and defend Greensborough’s goal circle alone and there was also great defensive pressure from GK Kristie Parks and GD Byrnes, however, the Boro’s sharp shooting made turnovers hard to come by.
Greensborough continued to build on their lead and turnover the ball time and time again to blow the margin out to 11 goals by the final whistle.
Final score: Greensborough 1 (63) def North Heidelberg 1 (52)
Section 1 Round 10 – Heidelberg 1 vs South Morang 1
by Marisa Sopcic
South Morang moved into fourth place on the Section 1 ladder after its victory in a Round 10 showdown against Heidelberg.
Going goal for goal down until the final minutes of the game, both teams kept up their intense pressure until the last whistle.
Heidelberg came out firing with three successive goals to start the game.
Yet to score, South Morang capitalised on a Heidelberg error, with their GA Karli Burns scoring the Lions’ first goal.
With some undesirable passing efforts by both sides, the turnover count kept scores close.
Down by two towards the end of the quarter, Heidelberg GK Vanessa Rischitelli rebounded a missed Lions’ attempt at goal. The Tigers moved the ball the length of the court, where GS Lauren Kearney made her shot to move her team one behind.
It began a run of three-straight goals for Heidelberg in the final minutes of the quarter, coming from behind to finish the quarter in the lead by one.
South Morang tied scores early in the second quarter at 10-all with the first goal upon the resumption of play.
Lions’ GS Burns and GA Tayla Hardiman collectively scored 14 goals during the second quarter to give their side a five-goal lead at half time.
Early in the third term, Heidelberg GS Kearney had a shot that fell short and the ball was rebounded by South Morang’s GK Paige Donker.
On the clearance, Heidelberg WA Lauren Jones intercepted possession and brought the ball back to the Tigers’ shooters for their first goal of the half.
Soon after, and with just on goal separating the sides, Heidelberg GK Rischitelli rebounded the ball and sent it forward, however some rushed passes saw the Tigers throw the ball out of play.
But Heidelberg GD Claire Henderson kept her head up and eyes on the ball for an intercept, which she collected and launched her side into attack again.
The Tigers missed their shot once the ball reached their shooting circle, with South Morang taking advantage and worked the ball into attack to score a goal.
Later, Heidelberg GA Holly Oates tied the game at 27-all and with the next centre pass GS Kearney scored to take the lead.
Bu it wasn’t long before South Morang took possession again and the game was back to a tie.
The Lions hunted down the ball in the final minutes of the third term, scoring three goals to lead heading into the last quarter.
Heidelberg created plenty of opportunities in the final term, but as their shooters struggled to convert, South Morang kept ahead.
With one final surge of strength, Heidelberg settled in the circle for consecutive goals, bringing the difference back to just one.
However, is was South Morang who stayed composed in the final minutes, capitalising on some missed shots by their opposition before finishing with a three-goal victory.
Final score: South Morang 1 (39) def Heidelberg 1 (36)
Section 3 Round 10 – Thomastown 1 vs North Heidelberg 2
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A close first half saw Thomastown fight their way into the game to win convincingly over North Heidelberg in Section 3
It was a slow start, with both teams fumbling with the ball in the opening two minutes before settling into the match.
North Heidelberg GA Megan West scored her team’s first goal before Thomastown’s GA Lauren O’Rourke comfortably did the same.
Thomastown were moving well in their attack, however, North Heidelberg’s defensive pressure got to the Bears, causing mistakes to disrupt their flow and allow the Bulldogs to establish an 11-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Thomastown lifted in intensity as they took the court for the second quarter with GD Keelin Galvin intercepting the ball, however, North Heidelberg GK Kate Dasey found front position to rebound a missed goal stopping the Bears from capitalising.
A breaking call against Bulldogs WD Hayley Hill swung momentum Thomastown’s way as their GA O’Rourke confidently slotted a goal and then another off their centre pass.
North Heidelberg upped the ante with their goal attack West shooting her team ahead by three.
However, the Bulldogs were starting to show cracks, with a stepping call going against them allowing Thomastown to reign the scores in closer, before a wayward pass punished the Bulldogs and gave Thomastown the lead with two minutes left in the half.
Scoring off their centre pass, Thomastown looked comfortable in front as the Bulldogs grew agitated. A contact call against their goal attack in the goal circle led to another Bears goal to put them ahead by three at half-time.
North Heidelberg slowed down significantly in the third quarter as Thomastown powered down the court into their goal circle. Defensively, the Bears played well with GK Casey Cesarin and GD Galvin playing tight on their opponents and intercepting the ball often.
In attack GA O’Rourke had her best quarter moving around the circle well and taking the ball up in the air without a problem to keep her team in front. Bears GS Julie Sims was good at driving in the circle and distracting the opposition into leaving O’Rourke open.
North Heidelberg showed some promising signs with their C Brittney Mulcahy working her way down the court well to provide her teammates with a passing option but ultimately the third quarter belonged to the Bears who pushed their lead out to five goals.
The first few minutes of the final quarter saw North Heidelberg ignite a bit with both teams trading turnovers. Bulldogs GD Kylie Yelland deflected the ball to her team’s advantage allowing their GS Vanessa Seddon to score, however, it wasn’t enough to halt Thomastown.
Across the court, Thomastown settled after a shaky first few minutes in the final term and got back to moving the ball between each other accurately to prevent North Heidelberg from having any more opportunities to intercept.
Bulldog’s WD Hill played extremely well and chased every ball she could, however, Thomastown WA Brooke Chadwick was outstanding at weaving between the opposition to land safely on the circle edge and feed into the Bears shooters.
The feeds from both WA Chadwick and C Lauren Newstead were positioned well to allow both Thomastown shooters the opportunity to score.
The Bears dominant third quarter performance proved too hard for North Heidelberg to bounce back from and saw the Bulldogs lose the match by seven goals.
Final score: Thomastown 1 (35) def North Heidelberg 2 (28)
Section 4 Round 10 – Heidelberg 4 vs Watsonia 2
by Marisa Sopcic
Top side Watsonia narrowly defeated third place Heidelberg in a close Round 10 match in Section 4.
It was a tough contest during the opening quarter, with both sides attacking the ball with intent. The the defensive pressure forced upon attackers ensured that both sides found it difficult to score early.
With the scores locked at 2-2, Heidelberg WD Alexandra King had an opportunity for a turnover, but her tap was picked up by a Watsonia shooter instead, who quickly scored a goal.
Scores were levelled at four all, when Heidelberg turned over the ball to the Saints and conceded a goal off their centre pass.
Heidelberg C Brianna Henderson intercepted a pass to convert a goal and put her team up by one heading into the second quarter.
Watsonia GS Jessica Mitsch tried to feed straight into the goal circle but her GA was not prepared for the ball. Heidelberg picked up the loose ball and pushed forward with the play.
Later in the term Heidelberg WD Isabella Rowe and Mitsch collided going for the ball. Contact was called against Rowe as she was second to the play.
With Heidelberg in front by one goal, an offside call on Heidelberg WD Rowe gave Watsonia a free pass within the circle. Trying to bounce pass closer to the post, the ball was blocked by Heidelberg GK Taya Barnett.
Heidelberg put up a set of goals to sit ahead by three near the end of the second quarter. However, with time still on their side and a succession of turnovers, Watsonia closed with the next goal.
Tigers GD Ashleigh Riley intercepted Watsonia’s centre as the Saints pressed late in the quarter. However, Watsonia WD Brylie Emonson intercepted the ball back and passed long into her goal third for one final shot that put the team just one behind at half time.
Heidelberg continued its form in the third quarter as their passes flowed down the court neatly.
The Tigers led by three goals at three-quarter time, but the ladder-leading Watsonia wouldn’t go down without a fight.
The Saints were rampant early in the final term and tied the game within minutes of the quarter.
The scoring streak continued as the Saints showed why they are the team that tops the ladder by taking the advantage on the scoreboard.
Feeling the pressure, Heidelberg’s shooters struggled to make any of their shots when limited opportunities presented.
Trailing by four goals with only a minute left in the game, a late goal was only consolation for Heidelberg, as Watsonia’s strong finish ensured it took home its eighth win of the year.
Final score: Watsonia 2 (29) def Heidelberg 4 (26)