A review of Round 8 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 8 – North Heidelberg 1 vs South Morang 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
South Morang put up a good fight against North Heidelberg, however, the Bulldogs lifted their intensity to power home over the last-placed Lions in the second half.
South Morang started the match well with sharp shooting from GS Mahalia Rank and GA Tayla Hardiman. The attacking end were aided by good defensive pressure from GD Bridget Canals and GK Olivia Pels that put them ahead by four goals in the opening minutes.
North Heidelberg, however, were able to work their way into the game after creating some turnovers, which allowed shooters GS Chloe Meulenmeesters and GA Kate Butler to score.
The first quarter was tight with both teams scoring and turning the ball over in defence, however, South Morang stayed in front 15-11.
The second quarter was a battle with the Bulldogs lifting and the Lions fighting to keep their lead.
A missed goal from South Morang in the opening play allowed North Heidelberg GD Lauren Byrnes to rebound and then GA Butler to score, which then gave the Bulldogs the next centre pass. However, they were unable to capitalise as South Morang’s GK Pels rebounded and sent the ball back her team’s way.
South Morang GS Rank was instrumental for her team, weaving between North Heidelberg’s defenders to find room and put the ball up for goals across the goal circle at times barely standing inside of it.
North Heidelberg’s shooters also began to find some room in the circle after being heavily defended in the opening term and as a result outscored South Morang 14 to 8 in the second quarter.
Some poor passing that plagued South Morang in the first quarter continued in the second. However, the Bulldogs struggled to capitalise as both sides traded intercepts for a couple of minutes, before South Morang scored with six minutes left in the quarter, putting the scores 20-17 in their favour.
A tight contest that resulted in a contact call against South Morang led to North Heidelberg drawing close 21- 20, however, they rushed their next play, resulting in South Morang scoring again, resetting their two-goal buffer and centre pass advantage.
A brilliant intercept from Lions’ C Michelle Millhouse fell short after GK Pels was penalised for holding the ball and the Bulldogs were then able to swing momentum back their way and level the scores with less than four minutes remaining in the half.
An intercept from Bulldogs GD Byrnes and some careful passing from North Heidelberg resulted in GA Butler scoring the goal to put her team in front.
South Morang quickly responded with another goal to draw level again before an untouched pass over the centre third from the Lions allowed Bulldogs GS Meulenmeesters to score with ten seconds left on the clock and then score again off their centre pass after a contact call went against South Morang in the goal circle.
North Heidelberg stayed in control during the third quarter to extend their lead as South Morang felt the pressure to play catch up netball and began to fade away in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were aided by GS Rebecca Colwell’s addition to the court, which saw Butler move into C and Meulenmeesters into GA, with WA Kym Grant taking the bench so C Emma Willamson could move into the wing.
Despite the changes to their line-up North Heidelberg continued to make the strong connections they had been during the second half of the previous quarter, with defensive duo GK Kristie Parks and GD Byrnes rebounding the ball time and time again.
South Morang’s C Michelle Millhouse took an impressive intercept to get her team back within a goal of the Bulldogs with eight minutes remaining in the quarter, however, North Heidelberg were able to pull away by six goals by the end of the term.
North Heidelberg outscored the Lions once again in the final quarter, keeping their opponents to their lowest quarter of the match, with only seven goals.
Lions WA O’Hehir had a good quarter moving around the court to try to provide options for her teammates, however, on the whole South Morang were slow to move the ball with North Heidelberg’s defensive pressure proving too good.
The Bulldogs shooters continuously scored from turnovers and built more and more of a lead over South Morang in the fourth quarter.
By the end of the match South Morang looked flat on the court and as a result lost by 20 goals after what started as a tight contest blew out in the second half.
Final score: North Heidelberg 1 (59) def South Morang 1 (39)
Section 2 Round 8 – Ivanhoe 1 vs Heidelberg 2
by Marisa Sopcic
First-placed Ivanhoe played fourth-placed Heidelberg in what turned out to be a one-sided Section 2 match in Round 8 at Parade College.
Gaining a seven to nil lead through the first quarter, Ivanhoe proved to be a strong unit in their defensive line-up.
It wasn’t until the final moments of the opening quarter, Heidelberg scored its first goal for the match. The Tigers managed to get one more in before the quarter time siren, with Ivanhoe taking an eight-goal lead heading into the second.
Intercepting the first centre pass, Heidelberg swiftly moved down court to score the opening goal of the second quarter.
However, the quick start was short lived as Ivanhoe’s defence came back in full force. GD Lauren Henderson rebounded a shot and set off a fast break towards attack for Ivanhoe.
A few turnovers for holding and contact went against Heidelberg in their defensive circle and provided Ivanhoe more advantage on the scoreboard.
Ivanhoe added another 12 goals during the second quarter and headed into half time with a comfortable 18-goal advantage.
Heidelberg opened the second half with a goal which seemed to lift the team’s confidence level. The Tigers brought the margin back early in the third and it looked like a comeback was on the cards.
However, Ivanhoe defenders Henderson and Ebyan Cabdi made sure this wasn’t an option. As the quarter progress, each time Heidelberg crossed the third line, the duo were there to steal the ball right back.
A 24-goal difference had been established by three quarter time, with Ivanhoe already looking a certain winner when the last quarter began.
Heidelberg gave the game their all during the fourth term, but they were punished each time a mistake was made by an Ivanhoe side that was in red-hot form.
The ladder-leader continued to stretch its advantage in the final term, adding another 12 goals to three to finish with a 33-goal triumph.
Final score: Ivanhoe 1 (45) def Heidelberg 2 (12)
Section 2 Round 8 – Northcote Park 1 vs Fitzroy Stars 1
by Marisa Sopcic
Fitzroy Stars 1 moved up to fifth position on the Section 2 ladder after a dominant performance against Northcote Park in Round 8.
The Stars added a third win to their tally, beating the Cougars by 26 goals, in a 47-21 result at Parade College.
Northcote Park lost their first attempt at scoring due to a contact against GS Christie Delauney, which may have been a sign of what was to come for the Cougars.
After taking a number of intercept catches around the court, the Stars were also able to capitalise in the attacking circle to led four goals to zero.
Northcote Park C Madeline Coreno intercepted a Stars clearance, but GS Delauney missed her second attempt and the ball was rebounded by Stars GK Kate Holzer. However the defender’s pass was also intercepted, which paved the way for the Cougars’ first goal.
The goal was soon followed by an additional set of goals, giving Northcote Park a boost in morale heading into the second quarter, despite trailing by five goals.
Fitzroy Stars’ strong defending forced Northcote Park to attempt long attempts around the edge of the circle. The distance proved troublesome for Northcote Park’s shooters, who couldn’t find a way in closer to the ring.
Scores were still relatively close at half time, with Fitzroy Stars leading 17-11.
Northcote Park had multiple chances to score in the early parts of the third quarter. However, the Stars pounced on a number of passes, which swung momentum their way.
The third quarter eventually became the term when the Stars shined brightest, putting through 18 goals to four to take a commanding 20-goal lead into the last term.
During the third term stepping became the main issue for Northcote Park’s centre passes, holding them back from entering their attacking third.
In the last quarter Northcote Park worked the ball down court well, but as soon as they entered the shooting circle, the Stars defensive line were too strong to break down.
Fitzroy added another 12 goals in the final term to Northcote Park’s six to runaway with a 47-21 win.
Final score: Fitzroy Stars 1 (47) def Northcote Park 1 (21)
Section 4 Round 8 – North Heidelberg 3 vs Kilmore 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A topsy-turvy game of netball saw North Heidelberg 3 stay in control over Kilmore 1 in Section 4.
The first quarter was slow for both teams with both shooting ends struggling to put the ball through the ring.
North Heidelberg moved the ball down the court quicker than Kilmore giving their GS Jess Smyth the first goal of the game.
Kilmore GD Samantha George started the match well with a strong lean over her opponent North Heidelberg GA Avril Stanley, who then missed her first shot on goal.
It was a nervous start for Kilmore GS Jemma Rowe, who missed her first two goal attempts and then stepped once the ball worked its way back down. Rowe’s shooting partner GA Rebecca Trefz also wasn’t having much luck in the first quarter with the girls combining for five goals in the opening ten minutes.
Despite being in control it was also a low scoring quarter for North Heidelberg’s shooters with only seven goals scored from the many opportunities they had.
The first centre pass of the second quarter went Kilmore’s way and resulted in a goal bringing the scores closer, however, North Heidelberg’s GD Samantha Latham and GK Christine Padfield were able to turn the ball over for their team to remain in front.
Early in the quarter, Kilmore GD George fell down and called injury time. She was able to get up, however, George was reluctantly forced from the court for calling the time and with no replacement, she stood on the sidelines until the next goal was scored.
Coming back on the court George looked a little sore, however, she pushed through the pain and worked her way into the game to continue rebounding the ball for her teammates to give Kilmore the opportunity to score.
North Heidelberg C Toni Gray played well for the Bulldogs in the second quarter, taking intercepts and feeding into her teammates in the goal circle well by putting the ball to their advantage.
By the end of the half, North Heidelberg had extended the lead to 10 goals, with the scoreboard reading 17-7.
Kilmore started to make connections with each other better in the third quarter, however, their shooting woes continued.
North Heidelberg GD Latham and GK Padfield continued to play well, applying pressure to every shot on goal and jumping for every ball that missed the ring.
It was a much better quarter for Kilmore GS Rowe who scored her game-high of four goals in the quarter.
Kilmore GD George moved into GA and played well in the position, moving quickly around the goal circle to draw the attention of North Heidelberg’s defenders away from her shooting partner.
The Bulldogs continued to move the ball swiftly down court and score from turnovers which allowed them to extend their lead to 15 by the end of the quarter.
The final quarter was Kilmore’s best by far, with C Rebecca Hocking and WA Rhiannon Bond-Radley stepping up with better feeds and movements across the court.
George had a fantastic quarter for Kilmore in goal attack and despite some good defensive pressure from North Heidelberg, she shot eight goals to minimise North Heidelberg’s lead.
The Bulldogs continued to move the ball swiftly to their shooters from their centre passes, however, Kilmore’s defence kept them to only five goals in the final quarter.
It was a highly-pressured quarter with multiple turnovers, but North Heidelberg was able to hang on to win by ten goals against a Kilmore side that ignited too late in the game.
Final score: North Heidelberg 3 (33) def Kilmore 1 (23)