A review of Round 2 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 2 – South Morang 1 vs Northcote Park 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
South Morang 1 continued to build on their win Round 1 with a victory over Northcote Park 1 on Friday night.
Northcote Park started the match off making quick connections into their GS Christie Delauney to score the first goal.
From there South Morang shooters Mahalia Rank and Karli Burns quickly put up goal after goal to build a strong lead over Northcote Park.
The Cougars were held back by a series of errors with multiple players stepping into the centre third too early on their centre passes, resulting in turn overs.
Northcote Park’s defensive partnering of Brigitte Saunders and Julia Olson continuously applied pressure onto their opponents and attempted to intercept every ball, however, the South Morang attackers remained unfazed in the first term.
At the end of the quarter the scores were 20 to 5 South Morang’s way, however, Northcote Park didn’t give up.
The second quarter began with Lions’ GD Bridget Canals taking an intercept which led to a passage of play that gave South Morang the opportunity to extend their lead.
Northcote Park brought Jessica Ring onto the court in goal attack, however, she had a very nervy start and became hesitant to put up the ball after a few missed attempts.
The Cougars’ missed goals became a problem for them as South Morang’s defence continuously took the rebounds and moved the ball quickly to their shooters.
South Morang’s WA Tayla Hardiman and C Abbey Cooper positioned themselves well around the circle edge, enabling their shooters to have the option to pass out and move closer to the ring when they needed to.
In the last few minutes of the quarter, Northcote Park seemed to settle into the game a bit and tightened up on their opponents causing South Morang to make some errors and start to rush their ball movements.
The third quarter started with the Cougars down 33-14.
South Morang’s defence continued to intercept the ball as it was fed into the Cougars’ goal circle, with GK Olivia Pels, taking a particularly good intercept against both of Northcote Park’s shooters.
The Cougars started to lose the connections they were making with multiple passes missing their targets early in the third, however, they found their rhythm again by the quarter’s end.
Northcote Park’s defence started to rebound more and more of the Lions’ missed shots, however, South Morang were working hard to turn over the ball and rebound off Northcote Park’s many missed goal attempts.
At the end of the third quarter, South Morang looked like they were definitely home with the win more than doubling Northcote Park’s score 43-21.
The fourth quarter saw good passages of play from multiple Cougars, however, the damage had already been done.
Northcote Park’s C Madeline Coreno started to open up and provide more options throughout the court and WD Stephanie Myddelton went after every ball that was in the air trying to swing possession back to her teammates.
The Lions moved Tayla Hardiman into GA, giving Karli Burns a well-earned rest on the sidelines.
Cougars’ GK Alice Barnes applied pressure over the ball while maintaining her distance to try and throw Hardiman and Mahalia off their game, however, the Lions had their sights firmly set on the ring.
In the end, Northcote Park’s slow start to the game proved costly with South Morang victorious.
Final score: South Morang 1 (54) def Northcote Park 1 (28)
Section 1 Round 2 – North Heidelberg 1 vs Greensborough 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
North Heidelberg came back from behind to beat Greensborough by five goals in a tight match on Friday night.
North Heidelberg opened the game using their first centre pass to deliver GS Chloe Meulenmeesters the ball for her first of many goals for the evening.
Bulldogs GA Kate Butler had a less successful start to the game, missing her first attempt following a strong lean over the ball from Greensborough GD Charlie Seivers.
Down the other end of the court Boro shooter GS Chantelle Power had a good start to the match shooting 10 of her team’s 13 goals.
Greensborough GA Bianca Power had a more nervous start missing multiple goal attempts after having a good game the week before.
North Heidelberg C Stacey Parks received a caution late in the quarter for consistent obstruction which she was quick to clean up on.
The Boro girls broke away with a six-goal lead heading into quarter time after an opening fifteen minutes that saw both teams making errors.
The second quarter was an absolute thriller as North Heidelberg fought back to hit the front.
The Bulldogs started the second quarter well with GS Meulenmeesters continuing to put up the ball with ease.
However, the Boro’s defensive duo made the North Heidelberg attackers work for ball to end up in the ring with both GD Seivers and GK Rebecca McDonagh taking intercepts.
North Heidelberg’s defenders GK Kristie Parks, GD Ebony Heers and WD Emily Dure made it hard for Greensborough to move around in attack and ultimately caused the Boro girls to move the ball backwards which resulted in turn overs.
The pressure was building on the Boro shooters to score, with GA Bianca Power missing all of her attempts giving the Bulldogs the opportunity to claw the margin back.
With two minutes left in the quarter both teams were neck and neck tied on 20.
Having found their rhythm Bulldogs GA Kate Butler put up her second goal for the quarter to put her team in front, however, Boro GS Chantelle Power quickly matched her tying the scores up again.
North Heidelberg swiftly scored in the last few seconds of the quarter, giving them a one-goal lead heading into the halftime break.
The third quarter saw North Heidelberg start to pull away from their opponents as Greensborough started to fumble under the pressure.
Defensively Bulldogs GD Heers was playing right up against her opponent making her presence known, while managing not to draw many contact calls against her.
The contest between North Heidelberg WA Stacey Parks and Greensborough WD Adele Cosma was close with Parks able to find space on the circle edge to feed well, while Cosma continued to work hard and intercept any ball that she could.
After another suspenseful quarter that saw momentum swinging both ways, the teams headed into the final term with North Heidelberg up 34-32.
Having managed to stay in front of the Boro girls the Bulldogs entered the final quarter determined to win.
North Heidelberg put their hands over every ball and the time ticking down was getting to the Greensborough players with costly misses being made in the ring and around the court.
The Bulldogs played the final quarter on their terms moving the ball quickly into their shooters to further extend their lead.
Greensborough WA Madison Carroll and North Heidelberg WD Megan Berger collided both fighting until the end for their teams, luckily neither girl was injured and played out the final quarter.
As the match came closer to its end the Bulldogs moved with precision and ran away from the Boro girls to a five-goal win.
Final score: North Heidelberg 1 (49) def Greensborough 1 (44)
Section 3 Round 2 – North Heidelberg 2 vs Heat 1
by Marisa Sopcic
After opening a promising lead in the first quarter, Heat 1 maintained strength and pressure to claim a comfortable win over North Heidelberg 2 in Section 3.
Heat opened the scoring in the early stages after a Bulldogs defender was caught out of position.
Working tight around the circle, Heat defenders Michelle Kneale and Cassie Wilcox claimed rebounds and forced the ball out of court on some passes.
An unsteady shot by Bulldogs’ shooter Kate Dasey was swallowed up by the Heat defenders. Their ability to stay light on their toes for well-timed rebounds gave the girls a quick confidence boost.
The lack of clear leads made by North Heidelberg hurt the team across court as Heat took many intercepts and stepped into the post for numerous scoring opportunities.
Heat opened up the court on their possession to maintain fluency through their play. The first quarter was a defining one for the team, as they pushed 10 goals ahead of North Heidelberg.
Heat shooters Crystal Phillips and Tamara Stewart nailed their shots with each attempt at goal. Stewart squeezed herself under the post and was fed a lob over the defenders’ heads to score another.
A broken centre pass saw Heat move fast down the court with their play hardly disrupted allowing the team to get in front by a huge margin of 15 goals.
Heading into the final quarter Heat were relentless with the ball, hitting back with a goal each time the Bulldogs tried to creep in on their scores.
Heat GD Wilcox was not letting North Heidelberg opponents get past her strong defence line, blocking passes in and rebounds from the shooters to keep her team well ahead.
Proving too strong for their opponents in most facets of the game, Heat were able to keep North Heidelberg at bay in the fourth term.
Their placement of the ball around the circle gave their shooters plenty of space to move into optimum shooting distances and claim a 13-goal win.
Final scores: Heat 1 (38) def North Heidelberg 2 (25)
Section 3 Round 2 – Watsonia 1 vs Diamond Creek 3
by Marisa Sopcic
When Watsonia 1 and Diamond Creek 3 stepped onto the court for their Section 3 match the girls brought with them three quarters of intense and hard-fought netball.
Opening the game with a stellar first half for both sides, little more than a goal separated the two teams’ score.
The defensive push from the back was evenly matched by both teams, neither one able to break the outstanding defensive pressure the other was applying.
This intense pressure kept scores tied throughout the half, sitting 11-all with a minute to go as the defenders used their bodies well to force held balls and rushed shots upon their opponents.
A break on the centre by Watsonia allowed Diamond Creek to progress forward for a shot at goal. Missing the net, the ball saw the hands of Diamond Creek once again after an offside call against the Saints.
The resulting shot was missed and Watsonia’s defenders got the jump on the rebound and moved the ball down the court. With just seconds to go left in the quarter, the Saints found their shooters within the circle to end the first half a goal in front.
Watsonia lifted in the second half. The wall of defence created by Rebecca Jennings, Dimity Harris and Emma Faliszewski, made it impossible for Diamond Creek to clear their centre pass.
On one occasion, Diamond Creek shooter Megan Verinder lacked some confidence in her shooting and chose to pass off. The decision didn’t work in her side’s favour and was intercepted by a Watsonia defender, who made good use of their stolen possession.
A drop in accuracy and shooting confidence set Diamond Creek on the back foot heading into the final term. As fatigue set in the Diamond Creek shooters began to feel the weight on their shots, making it harder for them to convert their scoring opportunities.
There was no stopping the Watsonia girls as they continued to build a healthier margin in the final quarter.
As the match wore on Watsonia continued to stretch its advantage, eventually running away for an 11-goal win.
Final score: Watsonia 1 (30) def Diamond Creek 3 (18)