A review of Round 6 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 6 – Heidelberg 1 vs Greensborough 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
Heidelberg and Greensborough played out a tight first half before Heidelberg were able to pull away with the win on Friday night.
Greensborough had a quick start to their clash with the Tigers, with shooters GS Chantelle Power and GA Bianca Power putting their team ahead 5 – 0 before Heidelberg’s Lauren Spinks scored their first goal.
Tigers’ C Georgia Harper played well to find room across the court for her teammates and often set them up for success passing the across the goal circle to allow her teammates to switch positions and break free of the Boro’s tight defence.
The match-up between the Boro’s GD Charlie Seivers and Heidelberg’s Spinks was particularly notably, with Seivers working well to take intercepts and deflect the Tigers’ passes despite being challenged by Spinks on multiple occasions during the first quarter.
By the end of the first quarter, Heidelberg were starting to pick up the pace and fall into a rhythm, however, thanks to Greensborough’s accuracy with the ball they sat ahead by four.
The second quarter saw Greensborough push their lead out six goals before the Tigers pounced.
The Boro C Olivia Ellis had a good quarter running around the court and finding space to take passes and feed to the advantage of her team’s shooters.
With seven minutes remaining in the quarter, Heidelberg had managed to work their way back into the game with their defenders GK Claire Hardi and GD Vanessa Rischitelli capitalising on Greensborough’s missed goals and passing.
As the Tigers clawed at the margin Greensborough lifted in intensity with every player working hard to defend the ball as every player for Heidelberg pushed themselves to try and intercept the ball.
A contact call against Greensborough’s Biance Power created a turnover for the Tigers, with Spinks scoring and their centre pass up next.
Despite the Boro’s GK Eilish Flagg deflecting the ball out of play possession stayed with the Tigers and they scored leaving a one-goal difference in the final minute of the quarter.
A rushed shot on goal by Greensborough created a turnover for Heidelberg and with just 13 seconds remaining in the half GS Lauren Jones scored the levelling goal.
Greensborough moved the ball quickly to start the second half, however, Heidelberg’s Rischitelli was able to read the play and went to deflect the ball before receiving a late challenge, resulting in a turnover.
A calculated passage of play followed allowing Tigers’ GA Spinks to score the goal that would give them the lead.
Another goal and intercept later and Heidelberg managed to pull away by three goals within the first two minutes of the third term.
An intercept by the Boro’s WD Adele Cosma allowed her teammates to score and then use their centre pass to score again.
Heidelberg upped the ante in defence trying to put doubt in the minds of the Boro’s shooters and confuse the space in the circle, which worked keeping the Power sisters to their lowest score of the game.
Rischitelli continued to read the play for her team and turn over the ball deep in defence and through capitalising on the turnovers and passing the ball accurately between each other the Tigers managed to outscore Greensborough to lead by nine goals at the final break.
Although down by nine, Greensborough did not give up in the last quarter and continued to try and put pressure on their opponents, however, Heidelberg remained calm and continued to shoot well.
Heidelberg continued to build on their stellar third quarter in the final term with WA Lauren Kearney working well with the Tigers’ shooters to feed them the ball whenever she could.
It was a better quarter from the Boro across the court, however, they were unable to trim the score difference by much, besides an intercept from Seivers which resulted in a goal.
It was a well fought out, physical contest that saw Heidelberg’s third quarter performance prove too good for Greensborough to come back from.
Final score: Heidelberg 1 (47) def Greensborough 1 (40)
Section 2 Round 6 – Diamond Creek 2 vs Northcote Park 1
by Marisa Sopcic
Second-dplace team Diamond Creek 2 took home their fourth win of the season after beating Northcote Park 1 convincingly last Friday night.
Northcote Park did well in the first half to remain competitive against Diamond Creek. Scoring three consecutive goals in the opening minutes, the team looked in form this game.
Diamond Creek gradually got on top, however scores were close after the first, with just four goals separating the teams.
Starting the second quarter behind, Northcote Park put up three quick goals to sit one goal behind Diamond Creek.
A moment of hesitation by Diamond Creek GA Chloe Gray, who she chose to pass off rather than shoot, saw the ball tapped out of play.
Northcote Park began turning the ball over, with certain passing choices allowing Diamond Creek to intercept and push further ahead.
In one play, obstruction was called on both Northcote Park defenders, giving a clear pathway for a lob towards Diamond Creek GS Mollie Marchbank, who scored another goal.
Diamond Creek shooters used their bodies well to get into their preferred shooting distance and positions for clearer shots at goal.
The third quarter defined the rest of the game. Only six goals separated the teams to start but Diamond Creek’s attack soon ramped up as they stormed down the court for goals.
Northcote Park handed over too many turnovers to their opposition, jeopardising their chance to make a comeback this quarter.
Holding an 11-goal lead entering the fourth, Diamond Creek were too good at reading the ball, collecting intercepts and rebounds when Northcote Park didn’t convert down their end.
While Diamond Creek did make some late errors across the court, it didn’t make a too great a dent in their lead as they ran out comfortable 11-goal winners.
Final score: Diamond Creek (32) def Northcote Park (21)
Section 2 Round 6 – Greensborough 2 vs Fitzroy Stars 1
by Marisa Sopcic
In a Round 6 upset, bottom-placed Fitzroy Stars 1 took down ladder-ladder Greensborough 2, courtesy of a strong final quarter.
After a competitive opening three quarters, the Stars pulled ahead in the fourth to finish with an eight-goal win.
Taking the lead in the first quarter by just one, Greensborough soon had the upper hand in the second term.
The forward movement by Boro players Imogen Ashworth and Ashley Richmond was impressive as they fed in the ball and offered back up along the ring for their shooters to work around the circle.
GS Paris Bosschieter and GA Lilli Florence found perfect positions to slot themselves into prime scoring range.
The defensive push from the Stars backline kept Fitzroy in the contest at times throughout the quarter. GD Brigitte Linares attacked the ball with force and rewarded her team with plenty of intercepts.
Diving into the third quarter the Stars tied the game in the opening minutes with two quick goals. This boosted their confidence and they soon ran down the ball for a third goal.
Stars GK Kate Holzer’s intercepts were the drive that the Stars needed this quarter to turn the game around.
Greensborough had a slow quarter in the third, their passing not up to the same standard as the first half and their shooters found it a lot harder to create space in the circle for scoring.
While the Boro still tried to make good use of their possessions, they were looking tired and the Stars had found their form in the game.
The Stars shooters Tamekah Atkinson and Thamar Atkinson tallied a total of 20 goals in the final half of the game, doubling Greensborough’s tally for the second half.
Although they fought until the end, Greensborough couldn’t match the fast-paced game that the Stars held for the whole four quarters.
Final score: Fitzroy Stars 1 (34) def Greensborough 1 (26)
Section 4 Round 6 – Watsonia 2 vs Kilmore 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
Watsonia put on a consistent display in their 13-goal victory over Kilmore in Round 6 of Section 4.
The first play of the match set the scene for the rest of the game with Kilmore taking an intercept off Watsonia’s centre pass, however, Watsonia stole the ball back quickly with an intercept from GK Erin Fahey.
Kilmore suffered a loss in the opening minutes with Amy George taking a tumble on the court and forced off with an ankle injury.
Halfway through the quarter only two goals separated the teams after many fumbles, turnovers and intercepts, however, Watsonia were using the turnovers more effectively.
Saints shooters GS Georgia Cornell and GA Carli Harris were quick to settle into the game, with both players moving around the circle well to free up space for each other.
By the end of the quarter Kilmore were down by five goals.
Despite the difference in scores, Kilmore GK Elise Woolfe worked well in defence to find the front position to deflect the ball to her team’s advantage and take intercepts to halt Watsonia in attack.
The second quarter ended with Watsonia having extended their lead comfortably to nine goals.
Kilmore had a much better start to the second half in what would be their best quarter.
Woolfe took an intercept stopping Watsonia from scoring on their first centre pass, which allowed for her teammate Samantha George, who had been moved from GD into GA, to shoot a long bomb.
Both teams had trouble feeding into their shooters this quarter. Nervousness slipped into the minds of Watsonia, who were feeling some heat after Kilmore started to score more consistently, while Kilmore later felt the pressure of Watsonia’s mounting defence.
It was a tight quarter that saw Watsonia win it by a goal, however, the lead they’d built previously kept them ahead by 10 on the scoreboard.
Watsonia stayed in control during the final quarter, moving the ball swiftly from one end of the court to the other. This meant Kilmore defenders GD Woolfe and GK Emily Kolacz were left the hard task to stop Watsonia from scoring in the goal circle.
Kilmore’s WA Hannah Storey had a good quarter, finding the circle edge before her opponent and feeding the ball well to the advantage of Samantha George, who scored all of her team’s goals for the final quarter.
Overall there were some promising signs from Kilmore late, however, Watsonia’s consistent scoring, which saw them shoot eight every quarter, and their ability to make the most of turnovers enabled them to stay in front.
Final score: Watsonia 2 (32) def Kilmore 1 (19)