A review of Round 14 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 14 – Greensborough 1 vs Diamond Creek 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A top of the table clash saw second-placed Greensborough come out on top against Diamond Creek on Friday night in Section 1.
Diamond Creek led early in the first quarter with GA Kelly Sadowy quickly scoring before a stepping call against the Boro got the Creekers out to a two-goal lead.
However, it didn’t take Greensborough long to fire up as they swiftly capitalised on a turnover and GA Madison Carroll evened up the scores.
The Creekers pushed ahead with the centre pass in their favour to lead by a goal at the end of the first quarter.
Diamond Creek continued to control the ball in the second quarter, with GD Emily O’Brian and GK Leonie Sansoni applying defensive pressure in the Boro’s attacking third, slowing down the attackers and forcing turnovers.
Greensborough struggled to make connections with each other while the Creekers ran down the court with ease causing the Boro to fall behind by five goals before half time.
A determined Greensborough side took the court at the start of the third quarter with a rebound from GK Eilish Flagg allowing GS Bianca Power to score and take control of the centre pass.
The Creekers needed to score off their next centre pass to keep the Boro at bay, however, a bad pass was costly with Greensborough confidently slotting in another goal.
With just two goals separating the teams, Diamond Creek were able to extend their lead back out to three but not for long as Greensborough GD Charlie Seivers deflected the ball to her team’s advantage and with GA Carroll finding space in the circle the Boro scored again.
The next few minutes were tense with errors being made by both sides before an intercept from Greensborough GK Flagg saw GS Power back herself for a long bomb and score to draw the teams level.
With less than a minute remaining in the third term, the Boro were quick to thread the ball between each other off their centre pass to take the lead, despite Diamond Creek’s best efforts to halt the Greensborough’s attack.
The Boro’s morale seemed at an all-time high leading into the fourth quarter having come back from behind to take the lead in the third.
Greensborough C Isabelle Conroy worked hard to provide options for her teammates across the court despite Diamond Creek C O’Brian keeping up with her in the fourth quarter.
Diamond Creek continued to fight to try and regain the lead with their defenders attempting to turn over the ball and force Greensborough into making errors, however, the Boro seemed unfazed with their shooters comfortably slotting in goal after goal.
Down the other end, Diamond Creek continued to score off their centre passes, however, once in front Greensborough left no opportunity for the Creekers to come back – with intercepts in defence swiftly turning into goals putting Diamond Creek further and further behind.
Final score: Greensborough 1 (49) def Diamond Creek 1 (45)
Section 2 Round 14 – Diamond Creek 2 vs Fitzroy Stars 1
by Marisa Sopcic
Fitzroy Stars slipped to fourth place on the Section 2 ladder after an 11-point loss against the first-place side Diamond Creek in Round 14.
Diamond Creek started off a player down but had the first centre pass of the match.
Easy passes into the circle allowed them to quickly make the opening goal, followed by an intercept by GK Alicia Kruske that was soon converted to a second.
Attempting to take Diamond Creek’s pass, Stars GD Brigitte Linares replayed the ball setting up a shot for Diamond Creek inside their scoring circle.
Still yet to score, the Stars capitalised on an out ball by Diamond Creek – feeding the play to GA Thamar Atkinson who sat under the ring to score the Stars’ first goal.
Catching up to Diamond Creek, the Stars collected a loose ball created by an error and moved fast for another score.
However, Diamond Creek gradually got back on top in general play and stretched their lead to seven by the end of the first quarter.
The Stars GS Tamekah Atkinson contacted her player. conceding a goal to Diamond Creek on their first centre.
Diamond Creek shooters Kristie Gannon and Chloe Gray used mid courts Eloise Whitcroft and Cassie Lewis around the circle to feed in the ball and allowed them to move into better scoring positions.
Up by eight, Diamond Creek’s defence put a ton of pressure on the Stars’ shooters, making it tough for them to break through and score goals.
Stars GS Atkinson was pulled up by the umpires for contact, giving away possession that they desperately needed to keep.
Diamond Creek held their large lead into the third quarter, with the Stars struggling to sit any closer than seven goals.
The work in attack by Diamond Creek’s C Lewis and WA Whitcroft settled the play, allowing time for the shooters to find better space while keeping possession.
Stars C Caitlyn McLeod delayed the centre pass and gave away a free to Diamond Creek.
Finding themselves quite congested on court the Stars struggled to cut into the deficit in the final quarter, as Diamond Creek held strong to claim a 35-24 victory.
Final score: Diamond Creek (35) def Fitzroy Stars (24)
Section 4 Round 14 – St Mary’s 2 vs Ivanhoe 2
by Stephanie Smarrelli
St Mary’s have moved to the top of the Section 4 ladder with a 17-goal win over Ivanhoe on Friday night.
Both sides had a nervous start to the match with errors keeping the teams neck and neck throughout the first quarter, with scores level at the end of it.
St Mary’s were quickest to settle into the game during the second quarter with GS Ciara Hanlon and GA Romy Dodd-Stephens sharing the workload under the ring.
In defence, St Mary’s lifted with GK Simona Gruevski’s pressure over the ball causing Ivanhoe to hold it for too long and GD Chloe Knight was good at reading the play to move off her opponent and intercept.
Ivanhoe had trouble getting the ball into the hands of their shooters, however, when they did GA Grace Markovic was quick to score.
St Mary’s strong second quarter saw them pull ahead by 10 goals before the main break.
Ivanhoe showed promising signs in the third quarter only losing it by a goal.
Ivanhoe GK Alyssa Nolan was moving well at the start of the quarter, finding room to deflect the ball away from St Mary’s shooters before an accidental collision with St Mary’s GS Hanlon saw her fall onto her arm and helped off the court in an injury timeout.
In attack Ivanhoe C Freya Henriksen was good at finding space across the court and continuously attempted to turn the ball over. She took a particularly good intercept on the circle edge in defence, however, St Mary’s defenders were quick to regain possession.
Despite a much better quarter from Ivanhoe, they were behind by 11 at the final break.
St Mary’s worked hard across the court in the final quarter to ensure they maintained their lead.
St Mary’s WD Niamh Pilatti was particularly impressive applying defensive pressure to Ivanhoe’s attackers and deflecting the ball to her team’s advantage to help provide St Mary’s with extra scoring opportunities.
Despite being down Ivanhoe didn’t give up with GK Luka Scott and GD Stephanie Dundon continuing to challenge St Mary’s for every possession.
Moving the ball from one end of the court to the other was hard for Ivanhoe with St Mary’s turning over the ball often and their shooters continuously capitalising on Ivanhoe’s errors.
In the end, St Mary’s dominant second quarter established a lead that was too much of a task for Ivanhoe to turn around despite their best efforts.
Final score: St Mary’s 2 (38) def Ivanhoe 2 (21)
Section 4 Round 14 – Bundoora 2 vs Watsonia 2
by Marisa Sopcic
Bundoora came close to an upset against top side Watsonia in Section 4 netball at Parade College in Round 14 action.
While they never got a chance to lead in the game, Bundoora kept scores tight with Watsonia – only losing to their opposition by three goals. The close result saw Watsonia to second place, despite their win, due to percentage.
The tight contest in the shooting circles left little room for errors. In one instance, Watsonia shooters Carli Harris and Jessica Price spoiled each other on the rebound giving Bundoora possession.
The defensive pressure forced many turnovers and a high rebound count for both sides. As a result of the misses by both sides, the netball quickly rebounded up and down each end of the court.
The Saints were just ahead by one approaching quarter time, Bundoora launched the ball into the goal circle in hopes of tying the game. The shot was too rushed and the whistle blew, with scores remaining 7-6 Watsonia way.
After a very tight first quarter Watsonia started to pull in front in the second to edge out from Bundoora.
Watsonia GK Erin Fahey and GD Molly Lawson had a strong dynamic in the circle, backing each other up on taps and rebounds to ensure they stole possession.
Bundoora’s attack was under pressure to create, with Watsonia’s defence right on top of their opponents.
Watsonia were out in front by five goals, giving themselves, some breathing space.
Bundoora forced Watsonia to run in a line down court, providing the perfect setting to attack the ball and hit it out of court.
Forcing the ball out once again Bundoora held Watsonia back from the shooting circle. Their pressure on the opposition caused many errors to be made, slowing down their attempts at goals.
Watsonia C Melissa Rowland was called for delaying the centre pass and Bundoora advanced to the edge of the circle.
Bundoora put in a solid final quarter effort, putting up 10 goals, however Watsonia refused to let their lead go and the Bundoora pressure just wasn’t enough to beat the top side.
Final score: Watsonia 2 (30) def Bundoora 2 (27)