A review of Round 16 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 16 – Heidelberg 1 vs Greensborough 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A dominant performance from Greensborough saw Heidelberg put up a good fight but lose by 12 goals in Round 16 action of Section 1.
Greensborough came out firing with GK Eilish Flagg and GD Charlie Seivers quick to get a rebound from a missed Heidelberg goal, with both Heidelberg shooters looking a touch nervous to start.
Down the other end of the court Greensborough shooters, GS Chantelle Power and GA Bianca Power settled into the game immediately, looking comfortable under the ring and rotating around the circle to open up space for each other.
The Boro managed to establish a fast eight-goal lead over Heidelberg, with missed goals and passing backwards causing errors that Greensborough made the most of early.
As the quarter went on, the Tigers settled into the game and began to slowly work the ball down the court, with Greensborough’s defensive pressure often causing them to pass the ball at the last second.
Towards the end of the quarter, Heidelberg stepped up their defensive pressure and managed to get themselves back into the game to only be sitting by Greensborough by four goals.
The Tigers were more settled in the second quarter with GS Bridget McLaren and GA Holly Oates confidently slotting the ball into the ring.
Greensborough C Olivia Ellis and WA Isabelle Conroy worked the circle edge well to feed the ball into their shooters time and time again, despite some impressive one on one work from Heidelberg’s defenders GK Vanessa Rischitelli and GD Mackenzie Blakey.
A few small fumbles from Heidelberg caused them to fall further behind as the Boro continued to turn the ball over.
Five goals down at half time, the Tigers were quick to start the third quarter, capitalising off a missed Greensborough goal.
Heidelberg C Georgia Harper was crucial in moving the ball from one end of the court to the other as she provided options across the court for her teammates to pass to.
Despite the increase in energy that brought the Tigers within two goals of the Boro, they continued to make mistakes when they won possession and as a consequence, Greensborough held onto their lead heading into the final quarter.
Sensing Heidelberg were right behind them, Greensborough came out firing in the final quarter.
Defensively the Boro had the better of the Tigers, with WD Adele Cosma, GD Rebecca McDonagh and GK Seivers intercepting and deflecting the ball to their teammate’s advantage and forcing Heidelberg’s shooters to shoot from further out.
In their defensive third, Heidelberg did well to try and hold the ball up, however, bullet-like passes into the circle from Greensborough’s midcourt made it hard for Heidelberg to stop goal after goal.
As the Tigers started to fall further and further behind they switched up their defensive strategy and started to go for every ball to try and create something.
Greensborough’s shooters remained focus on their task and continued to work well together to find space in the circle with Heidelberg at times getting distracted and double teaming one player in the circle giving the other shooter a direct path to the ring.
10 goals down with two minutes to go it was clear that the Tigers wouldn’t be able to swing momentum back their way, however, they continued to challenge Greensborough for the ball until the final whistle.
Final score: Greensborough 1 (54) def Heidelberg 1 (42)
Section 2 Round 16 – Greensborough 2 vs Ivanhoe 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A persistent third-placed Greensborough chipped away at a second-placed Ivanhoe to come from behind and win by a goal in Round 16 of Section 2.
Ivanhoe controlled the first quarter, with GS Aysha Blade scoring eight of her team’s 10 goals for the quarter.
Similarly, Greensborough GS Paris Bosschieter scored the majority of her team’s goals for the quarter setting a task for both team’s defenders.
Down by four goals at the end of the first quarter, Greensborough continued to work the ball down to their shooters to slim Ivanhoe’s lead slightly.
Greensborough C Ashley Richmond moved across the court well to find space and pass over the hands of Ivanhoe’s defenders.
Ivanhoe GK Ebyan Cabdi was impressive challenging every ball that came into the circle to try and create turnovers for her teammates.
The final few seconds of the second quarter were tense as intensity across the court started to build with Greensborough only three goals behind at the main break.
Ivanhoe maintained their three-goal lead during the third quarter, however, Greensborough were right on their heels.
Greensborough’s defensive pressure mounted with GK Emily Carpenter and GD Ashleigh Weir deflecting the ball in the circle slowing down Ivanhoe’s quick movement.
Ivanhoe WA Maddison Seeley was fast to hit the circle edge to provide options to her teammates to pass back out to when they needed allowing them to move in closer to shoot.
Greensborough worked hard across the court to slow Ivanhoe and their defensive pressure through the midcourt allowed them to push Ivanhoe into crowding one side of the court.
When Ivanhoe’s shooters got hold of the ball GS Blade continuously put the ball up and kept her team in front during the third quarter. Despite not shooting any goals for the second quarter in a row Ivanhoe GA Leanna Sartori did well to create space for her teammate.
Both sides were neck and neck in the fourth quarter.
An impressive intercept from Boro GD Lilli Florance encouraged her teammates to go after every ball.
Ivanhoe continued to be pushed by Greensborough and as a result, a few contact calls went against them while they were in possession and suddenly the teams were tied.
A vocal Boro bench cheered their teammates on as they took the next centre pass and managed to snatch the lead from Ivanhoe.
Ivanhoe worked extremely hard in defence to try and turn the ball over, forcing Greensborough to pass back to move forward, however, with the clock ticking down the Boro held onto possession and Ivanhoe were unable to regain the centre pass advantage.
Ivanhoe WD Sarah Marian and GD Lauren Henderson almost managed to turn the ball around a few times in the final few minutes, however, Greensborough were careful with their passes.
An intercept from Ivanhoe GK Cabdi presented her team with the opportunity to draw the game in the final minute, however, a wayward pass further down the court from Ivanhoe resulted in the ball rolling and allowing Greensborough a come from behind win.
Final score: Greensborough 2 (32) def Ivanhoe 1 (31)
Section 3 Round 16 – Bundoora 1 vs Heat 1
by Marisa Sopcic
Bundoora 1 sits in first-place on the Section 3 ladder after narrowly defeating Heat 1 who remain in third spot after their Round 16 clash.
Heat took an early lead in the first quarter and sat four goals ahead of Bundoora early in the match.
The Comets were just warming up though, and once they settled on the court, they quickly worked back the deficit.
Bundoora’s GK Hollie Wilson proved vital in defence and blocked numerous plays from Heat’s attack, helping to bring her side within two goals of their opposition.
Heat started to rush their passes into the circle, with the ball escaping their grasp and into the hands of Bundoora’s defence.
Heat’s GK Tamara Stewart made a big play late in the quarter to stop Bundoora from getting in a late goal before quarter time – keeping Heat ahead by three at the first break.
Comet’s GD Rachael Furgal timed her jump to steal possession, turning over the first centre of the second quarter.
Heat’s WA Natalie Ognenis created space and opportunities on court to allow the ball to travel cleanly through the thirds into the goal circle.
With her side still down by two, Bundoora GK Wilson took another intercept, sending the ball forward.
Pressured passes went astray for Heat, as Bundoora tied the game at 13-all in the second term.
Ogenis took a spill to the ground after getting tangled in the legs of Bundoora’s GD Furgal.
Scores were tied 15 all at half time as the teams headed into another half of tough netball.
Heat’s C Veronica Cipriani passed off to the opposition but quickly recovered from the mistake with an intercept.
Comets GS Emily Duggan took her eyes off the ball as it came into the circle and Heat’s defence scooped up the ball and raced forward for another goal.
With Heat ahead by one goal, Bundoora were quick on the turnovers in defence to tie the game.
Bundoora edged ahead by a goal, but Heat wouldn’t be denied and made a comeback to pull ahead.
With scores locked 23-all in the final seconds of the third quarter, Heat GS Michelle Kneale contacted as her side tried to score. Bundoora ran the play forward to make a goal just before the whistle, to lead by one at three quarter time.
The Comets stole the first centre and were quick to score a second as they began to build on their lead.
Heat were unable to maintain their fight in the final quarter, dropping to a four-goal deficit.
The Comets held the ball and ran out the clock in the final minutes after a trying quarter for Heat, who were bested in the end despite a great challenge.
Final score: Bundoora 1 (33) def Heat 1 (29)
Section 4 Round 16 – Watsonia 2 vs North Heidelberg 3
by Marisa Sopcic
North Heidelberg climbed to fifth position after defeating second-placed Watsonia in Round 16 of Section 4.
Watsonia had a slow start to the first quarter, finding it hard to convert goals down their end as the Bulldogs defence blocked their attempts with turnovers and rebounds.
The ball spent a lot of time out of court around their circle, providing North Heidelberg with chances to move ahead into their own goals.
The Bulldogs made strong leads to the ball and down the court to move the play freely between their players.
North Heidelberg GS Jess Smyth ran the base line for a pass but caught the ball with her foot over the line. Watsonia looked long and fed the ball into their attack, where GS Carli Harris was positioned under the ring for a free pass and goal.
Watsonia struggled to find easy avenues into their goal circle and fell behind at quarter time, with the score reading 5-9 North Heidelberg’s way.
Watsonia gave their shooters better chances to score in the second term, hoping they would get their eye. However, the Saints still struggled to add heavily to their score.
Bulldogs’ GD Danielle Eastick applied a lot of pressure in the circle and made it hard for the Saints shooters to get to many easy looks.
Watsonia made a quick swap of WA mid-quarter, with Lauren Taglieri coming off court and Melissa Rowland taking her spot.
Watsonia’s centre pass had to be chased down but couldn’t be saved as it bounced out of court.
North Heidelberg had another strong quarter and led by eight goals at half time, Watsonia was hurt by their lack of accuracy around the ring and the contact count against the side within the first half.
The Bulldogs pulled out to a 10-goal lead early in the third quarter after making a strong start on the return from half time.
Watsonia showed potential throughout the quarter, however, North Heidelberg always seemed to have the edge – even when challenged.
In front by 10 at three-quarter time, North Heidelberg intended on keeping their lead throughout the final quarter.
Their centre passes were undisturbed, heading into the circle each time and ended in a goal with each one.
Watsonia kept fighting and pushing to score some goals but they couldn’t reel in the Bulldogs’ big lead, no matter how hard they fought, with the final margin finishing six goals in the Bulldgos’ favour.
Final score: North Heidelberg 3 (33) def Watsonia 2 (27)