A review of Round 15 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 15 – South Morang 1 vs Heidelberg 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A tight contest between South Morang and Heidelberg saw the Tigers come out on top and leapfrog their opponent into fourth spot on the Section 1 ladder.
South Morang came out strong in the opening minutes of the first quarter with GS Mahalia Rank and GA Tayla Hardiman shooting their team ahead 6-0, capitalising on Heidelberg’s early mistakes.
Heidelberg struggled early to move the ball into their shooting circle with tight one on one defensive pressure from South Morang forcing Heidelberg to go backwards before moving forwards.
South Morang C Samara Harris and WA Lauren O’Hehir put on a feeding masterclass throwing the ball into their shooters with precision, despite good pressure from their opponents Heidelberg C Claire Henderson and WD Georgia Harper.
During the second half of the first quarter, South Morang started to make a few mistakes resulting in Heidelberg making the most of the turnovers to come back, sitting only a goal behind the Lions at the end of the quarter.
The two sides traded goal for goal throughout the second quarter as intensity continued to build.
Defensive pressure from Heidelberg defenders GD Mackenzie Blakey and GK Vanessa Rischitelli slowed South Morang with intercepts and deflections hurting the Lions.
However, South Morang defenders GK Olivia Pels and GD Michelle Millhouse put the Tigers under just as much pressure, creating turnovers that went in South Morang’s favour.
Some late challenges from Heidelberg saw contact calls go against the side often in the second quarter, however, they kept up with South Morang for scores to be level at half time.
The two teams continued to be neck and neck in the first few minutes of the third quarter before a misdirected pass from South Morang allowed Heidelberg GA Lauren Jones to shoot her team ahead by three goals.
Down by three South Morang quickly responded with GD Millhouse intercepting the ball and GA Rank scoring to swing momentum back their way.
However, shortly after Tigers WD Henderson intercepted a South Morang throw in which gave her team the centre pass advantage again with another goal.
As Heidelberg were starting to get on top of South Morang a bit of push and shove from the Tigers across the court saw the Lions continue to score and keep the margin close.
Nerves started to show in the final few minutes of the third quarter for South Morang with Heidelberg GK Rischitelli doing well to position her body and rebound missed goals from the Lions’ shooters.
Four goals separated the teams heading into the final quarter with Heidelberg in front.
South Morang were swift to move off their first centre pass with GS Hardiman scoring before scoring again.
As scores narrowed Heidelberg lifted with C Harper moving quickly down the court to find space and feed the ball into her teammates.
Despite some good passages of play, South Morang faded as the quarter went on, allowing Heidelberg to get out to a six-goal lead.
Heidelberg WD Henderson came off the court with roughly three minutes remaining calling an injury time.
South Morang managed to halt Heidelberg’s flow of goals during the final few minutes of play to trim the difference in scores, however, they ran out of time to catch up to Heidelberg.
Final score: Heidelberg 1 (48) def South Morang 1 (46)
Section 1 Round 15 – North Heidelberg 1 vs Greensborough 1
by Marisa Sopcic
With finals just around the corner second and third-placed Greensborough and North Heidelberg faced off on in an important Section 1 match in Round 1.
In what started as a close match, the sides were split by a single point at half time, but by the second half the match took a turn in favour of the Bulldogs.
Tight defence by Lauren Byrnes and Kristie Parks of North Heidelberg forced the ball to be passed over the circle to Greensborough’s mid-court in an attempt to free up space.
North Heidelberg GS Rebecca Colwell used her height to her advantage in the shooting circle, owning the space beneath the ring to score 11 of her side’s 13 goals in the first quarter.
Just in front at quarter time by two goals, North took the first centre of the second quarter.
Boro’s GK Charlie Seivers tapped the ball out of reach from her opponent, as Boro teammate Rebecca McDonagh backed up her defender and fed the ball down court for the first goal of the quarter.
An intercept by Greensborough C Olivia Ellis fed the ball back to the Boro shooters who tied the game at 13 all.
North Heidelberg had many moments throughout first half where they would pull in front, but each time they did, Greensborough would respond and reign in the deficit
However, Greensborough were caught behind their opponents in the third quarter – often allowing North Heidelberg to steal possession.
The Bulldogs capatalised on these turnovers, putting through eight goals before Greensborough scored one in the third term.
North Heidelberg’s players made leads at the right times to move the ball down the court steadily.
The Bulldogs had gone close to cementing their win by three quarter time, pushing ahead to a 13-goal advantage.
The Boro started the fourth off well with the opening two goals. WD Adele Cosma had a great start to the term, shut down her opponent in the goal third and reading the ball well for an intercept.
However, Greensborough soon fell into the same pattern as the third quarters, making a number of poor passing choices and turning over the ball too many times.
North Heidelberg once again made its opponent pay for its mistakes, extending out its lead to 18 goals by match end
The win bumped them the Bulldogs up to second place on the ladder at Greensborough’s expense, with the Boro now sitting third despite being the only team to topple ladder-leader Diamond Creek this season.
Final score: North Heidelberg 1 (65) def Greensborough 1 (47)
Section 3 Round 15 – Craigieburn 1 vs North Heidelberg 2
by Stephanie Smarrelli
Craigieburn scored a convincing win by eight goals against North Heidelberg in Round 15 of Section 3 action.
Craigieburn were quick to start, with GD Amanda Spillare intercepting the ball off North Heidelberg’s centre pass, with both Craigieburn shooters Ruby Sommerville and Belinda Vass scoring comfortably under the ring.
North Heidelberg struggled to move the ball with Craigieburn’s defensive pressure across the court causing errors before finally Bulldogs GA Megan West slotted a goal in.
Teamwork from Craigieburn GD Spillare to deflect the ball to WD Bella Alvarez saw Craigieburn score again to stay ahead of North Heidelberg.
As the Bulldogs settled into the game accurate shooting from GA West and GS Kylie Yelland kept them within reach of Craigieburn, to only be behind by three goals at the end of the quarter.
The Bulldogs lifted in defence during the second quarter with GD Hayley Hill taking a good intercept leading to a North Heidelberg goal, followed by another off their centre pass.
With only a two-goal difference North Heidelberg GK Tessa Willett stepped up with an intercept, resulting in a goal.
Having scored, North Heidelberg had the centre pass in their favour which allowed GA West to put her team ahead with just under five minutes remaining in the half.
A stepping call against North Heidelberg let Craigieburn bring the scores back to level, however, the Bulldogs still had the centre pass advantage.
A missed goal in the final minute of the quarter from North Heidelberg resulted in Craigieburn GS Vass staying cool under pressure to put her team back in front at the other end of the court.
North Heidelberg’s defensive pressure dropped slightly, allowing Craigieburn to extend their lead early in the third quarter.
Craigieburn C Gabrielle Clark moved well to find space and feed the ball carefully into her teammates, while WD Shannon Tresider was also impressive intercepting the ball and putting pressure on quick Bulldogs WA Emily Duke.
As the margin grew larger North Heidelberg’s defensive trio WD Kate Dasey, GK Willett and GD Hill did well to slow down Craigieburn by deflecting the ball throughout multiple passages of play.
However, they were unable to halt Craigieburn’s accuracy in front of the ring.
Having established a six-goal margin Craigieburn continued to get the basics right in the final quarter to stop North Heidelberg from having any chance of coming back.
The Bulldogs continued to work hard in defence in the final quarter, however, Craigieburn were smoother to transition the ball and were able to capitalise on North Heidelberg’s mistakes.
When the ball landed in the hands of North Heidelberg’s shooters they were able to score comfortably, however, their accuracy was not enough to bring the Bulldogs back into the game with Craigieburn outplaying North Heidelberg across the court in the final quarter.
The win keeps Craigieburn in fourth place on the Section 3 ladder and boosts the clubs hopes of playing finals in its inaugural season in the NFNL winter netball competition.
Final score: Craigieburn 1 (43) def North Heidelberg 2 (35)
Section 4 Round 15 – Ivanhoe 2 vs Greensborough 3
A late fightback saw Greensborough 3 claim a thrilling one-goal win over Ivanhoe 2 in Round 15 of Section 4.
Ivanhoe 2 led in all four quarters of round 15, but in the dying seconds of the game Greensborough 3 hit the lead to claim a tight win.
Ivanhoe were able to contain their passes pushing forward while Greensborough struggled to control their flow down the court early in the game.
Leading at quarter time by four goals, Ivanhoe had the first centre pass.
Greensborough GD Stephanie Calabrese was quick to intercept the ball going into the goal circle.
A turnover going the way of the Boro put them at 9-all as Ivanhoe were yet to make any goals of their own during the early stages of the second quarter.
Ivanhoe GS Ava Cole feigned a shot at goal, passing off to her teammate, who made the shot instead.
Down by three goals, the Boro struggled to hold onto the ball under the pressure of Ivanhoe.
Greensborough defenders Sinead Flynn and Calabrese appeared did all they could to try and stop Ivanhoe from shooting.
Down at half time, Greensborough started the third quarter with two goals, tying the game right off the bat.
The second half saw Borough and Ivanhoe go goal for goal on the scoreboard.
Ivanhoe GA Chloe Jacobi put her team two goals ahead as Ivanhoe took the next centre pass.
Claiming a third goal Ivanhoe held their ground to stay in front approaching the final quarter.
Greensborough were yet to lead but came in hot for the final nine minutes of the game.
Advancing ahead for a second goal, after a break against Ivanhoe, GS Mia Sannholm put her team just one goal behind Ivanhoe.
Ivanhoe kept Greensborough slightly at bay each time they threatened to tie the game but as the game came to a close, Ivanhoe’s shooters began to feel the increased pressure and rushed their shots.
Greensborough came back to within a goal of Ivanhoe, as GD Calabrese rebounded the ball and sent it to her shooters to tie the game.
With 20 seconds on the clock and the centre pass, Greensborough lobbed long into goals and scored just on the siren to win the game by a single goal.
The win kept Greensborough in fourth place, while the loss for Ivanhoe dropped them to seventh place – two wins outside the top-four.
Final score: Greensborough 3 (30) def Ivanhoe 2 (29)