A review of Round 9 netball action in the Northern Football Netball League.
Section 1 Round 9 – North Heidelberg 1 vs Heidelberg 1
by Marisa Sopcic
North Heidelberg remain seated in second-place on the Section 1 ladder after narrowly defeating Heidelberg by just three goals in Round 9.
Putting up a tough contest, Heidelberg led for majority of the game and looked as though creating an upset against their higher-placed opponent.
Heidelberg shooters Lauren Kearney and Holly Oates didn’t take long to find their range in the first quarter, scoring a quick six goals in the opening minutes.
Capitalising on a few errors made by North Heidelberg, the Tigers held the lead until the end of the quarter.
North Heidelberg GK Kristie Parks hobbled off the court with a leg injury midway through the first, with her side finishing the term behind by five goals, with the score 9-14.
As teams ramped up the pressure in the second quarter, North Heidelberg clawed back to even the scores.
North Heidelberg shooter Rebecca Colwell used her body and height well in the circle, holding space for lobs towards the post. Despite her best efforts, Heidelberg GK Claire Hardi couldn’t stop Colwell from impacting the game.
Colwell racked up 13 of North Heidelberg’s 15 goals this quarter in a fantastic display in her goal circle.
North Heidelberg’s ability to shut down play before Heidelberg could convert goals hurt their opposition greatly. In doing so the Bulldogs evened the score by half-time, with the scoreboard locked at 24-all.
Heidelberg had a slow start to the second half as their shooters struggled to convert with the same ease as the first term.
North Heidelberg was able to make better use of their possessions and took the lead narrowly early in the quarter..
Heidelberg GK Hardi was again tasked with shutting down Bulldogs GS Colwell. The height difference didn’t faze her and she worked tirelessly to put pressure on North Heidelberg’s most accurate shooter and win contested plays around the circle.
Racking up a high turnover count this quarter, Heidelberg was able to take back the lead to take a one-goal advantage into the last break.
Heidelberg continued to lead early in the fourth quarter. They stretched their lead to for goals and with their attack on song, the Tigers looked to be in control of the game.
However. with minutes to go Heidelberg’s great form became unstuck.
North Heidelberg wrestled back the momentum and tied the game at 47-all as Heidelberg’s missed shots and errors began to accumulate.
It was North Heidelberg who remained more composed in the final minutes of what was a very competitive match to run away three-goal winners.
Final score: North Heidelberg 1 (53) def Heidelberg 1 (50)
Section 2 Round 9 – Fitzroy Stars 1 vs St Mary’s 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
The Fitzroy Stars ignited in the second quarter against St Mary’s to give themselves the opportunity to compete for the win and once they got a taste of it they ran.
The Stars had a quick start to the match with three goals from GS Tamekah Atkinson before St Mary’s were able to score.
St Mary’s C Latoya Wards started the game well, intercepting the ball and zig-zagging across the court to free herself from her opponent.
Bad passing from the Stars halted their lead as St Mary’s were able to draw level by halfway through the quarter.
An intercept from GK Nicole Tamburini led to St Mary’s hitting the front, however, they had trouble moving the ball down the court as players continuously crowded the centre third.
By the end of the quarter, the Stars looked flat, not even defending the ball after St Mary’s pushed their way out to a seven-goal lead.
At the start of the second quarter the Fitzroy Stars put the first quarter behind them looking re-energised as they took the court.
Failure to follow in attempts at goal from St Mary’s allowed the Stars GK Kate Holzer to rebound the ball and quickly pass it down the court, with players like GD Brigitte Linares quick to move into space.
Despite impressive feeds into the circle from their midcourt, St Mary’s struggled to shoot in the second quarter and the Stars defenders kept them to only two goals in the quarter.
Stars WD Samantha Saunders-Brown was impressive as she intercepted the ball and defended well in the centre third to slow St Mary’s progression down the court.
A missed goal from St Mary’s Biljana Cvijetic led to the Stars narrowing the lead down to a goal in the final thirty seconds of the half.
Then a contact call against Stars GA Thamar Atkinson turned the ball over, however, a rushed pass from St Mary’s saw the Stars regain possession and draw level in the quarter’s dying seconds.
After a disappointing second quarter St Mary’s reignited a little in the third, however, mistakes continued to cost them as the Stars built on the rhythm they found.
The Stars were careful with their ball movements as they moved down the court, ensuring it landed safely in the hands of their shooters rather than moving quickly as the quicker pace was causing plenty of errors for St Mary’s.
St Mary’s defenders GK Tamburini and GD Caitlin Ryan challenged for the ball at every opportunity, however, the Stars shooters were too good at putting themselves in front position and were aided by confident feeds from C Anita North and WA Renae Mckeown.
Both sides applied pressure over the ball well, however, inaccurate passing caused St Mary’s to fall behind the Stars, who seemed to be comfortably ahead by the end of the third quarter, despite only heading into the final quarter with a three-goal lead.
Scores remained close at the start of the final quarter with St Mary’s lowering the margin to two goals, however, a toss-up between St Mary’s WD Nakita Lastrina and Stars GA Thamar Atkinson, resulted in another Stars’ goal.
St Mary’s GK Tamburini received an accidental knock under the goal ring and was assisted off court, appearing dizzy. The loss of Tamburini was damaging for St Mary’s as players had to be moved around.
Tamburini was replaced by GA Cvijetic in GK, which then moved WD Lastrina into GA and Lauren Christian came back on the court in WD.
The changes to St Mary’s line-up shook the team and by the time the players settled into the new positions the Stars had further extended their lead.
The Stars continued to play at their calm pace despite the changes in the opposition’s positions and by moving the ball between each other carefully they made it almost impossible for St Mary’s to turn the ball over, despite their best efforts.
St Mary’s continued to fight until the end of the match with multiple players coming off their direct opponents to try and intercept or at least deflect the ball, however, they were unable to swing the momentum back their way.
Final score: Fitzroy Stars 1 (28) def St Mary’s 1 (23)
Section 3 Round 9 – Heat 1 vs Bundoora 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A competitive match between Bundoora and the Heat saw the Comets fire up to outplay their opposition in Round 9 action at Parade College.
It was a nervous start from the Heat with both shooters GS Michelle Kneale and GA Crystal Phillips missing their first few attempts at goal before Kneale finally sunk one in.
Bundoora were quick to move off their first centre pass with GS Emily Duggan confidently slotting their first goal.
From there Heat controlled the rest of the first quarter with turnovers from Bundoora becoming costly.
Bundoora started the second quarter better than their first, settling into the game a bit better.
Quick and accurate feeds from Comets WA Tessa Bruno and C Jacinta Tonkin helped Bundoora to score quickly once in their attacking third.
A well-timed intercept from Bundoora GD Kendall Fitzpatrick swung momentum the Comets’ way, resulting in a goal to draw the two sides level with roughly six minutes left in the quarter.
With the next centre pass belonging to Bundoora, Heat GK Cassie Wilcox took the opportunity to rebound a missed goal and throw the ball back towards her team’s shooting end. However, Heat were unable to capitalise and Bundoora made them pay with GA Williams scoring the goal to put her side in front.
Rushed passing from the Heat started to creep into their game and their inability to halt Bundoora once the Comets had possession left them behind by five goals at the main break.
The start of the third quarter was close with the Heat scoring off the first centre pass quickly and Bundoora then having to turn the ball over after a missed goal on their centre pass before scoring.
Heat GK Wilcox continued her impressive game by intercepting and rebounding the ball as often as she could.
Wilcox smartly defended Bundoora’s shots on goal by sticking her knee out at an angle to hold Bundoora’s free shooter at bay while she leaned over the shot, however despite intelligent defence, Bundoora continued to turn the ball over in return and score.
Heat WA Natalie Ognenis and C Angela Sanderson both had a good quarter as they started to find space on the court to move and pass the ball better into their shooters.
Bundoora continued to play well despite the improvement in Heat’s attack, with defenders GK Rachael Furgal and GD Maighan Corps applying pressure to every shot on goal putting pressure on the Heats’ shooters.
Missed goals from the Heat resulted in the Comets turning over the ball and scoring to keep their five-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The final quarter was fairly even, with both teams scoring an additional seven goals to their three-quarter time score. Bundoora’s dominant second and third quarters proving too hard for the Heat to come back from.
The last quarter saw the Heat continue to fight onwards to try and trim the Comets’ lead. However, Inaccurate shooting continued to plague the Heat as Bundoora made the most of every turnover.
In the last few minutes, the Heat lifted to slow Bundoora’s swift movements and were able to narrow the margin, however, Bundoora’s ability to find space in the goal circle to shoot comfortably kept them in front until the end.
Final score: Bundoora 1 (33) def Heat 1 (28)