Match reviews from the 2019-20 NFNL Summer Netball Section 1 semi finals.
Section 1 Second Semi Final – Bundoora 1 vs Montmorency 1
Montmorency 1 secured the first place in the Section 1 grand final with a nail-biting victory against ladder-leader Bundoora 1 in the second semi final.
Both sides came out firing and continued the intensity throughout the game, with Montmorency holding on by one goal to ensure they go straight to the premiership-decider.
Captain Rebecca Lollback won the toss for Montmorency, allowing GS Belinda Vass to put their side on the scoreboard first, with a goal from under the post.
The opening minutes set the tone for the game, with hungry defensive circles from both teams making many intercepts and tips.
After securing a two-goal advantage in the first quarter, it seemed as though Bundoora’s relaxed shooting circle, consisting of GS Lauren Pendlebury and GA Natalie Nolan, were going to carry their side to victory with their consistent long-range goals.
Montmorency rose to the challenge in the second quarter with GD Amanda Spillare and GK Holly Denholm working tirelessly to cause as many errors as possible for the Bundoora shooters.
Montmorency GA, Leah Steven, shot eight goals from mid-range, whilst GS Belinda Vass opted for a closer to the ring approach, shooting five goals in the second quarter.
The 13-goal second term by Montmorency was contrasted by a faster playing approach from Bundoora. The Bulls’ goal defence’s hard work was rewarded by goal shooter Pendlebury, scoring under the post twice.
The co-operation in attack and team talk as the ball moved down the court allowed Montmorency to turn over the centre pass four times in a row, granting their team the opportunity to score eight consecutive goals to put them in ahead 20-14 at half time.
Montmorency C Emma Dicello jumped into the circle to begin the third quarter and was immediately met with intense Bundoora defence.
Bundoora swiftly turned over the first centre pass, allowing GA Natalie Nolan to convert a long-range goal to prove that her team was still in the game.
Montmorency began to apply a double defencing technique on Bundoora’s GS Lauren Pendlebury, to limit her holding. This technique was unsuccessful, with Pendlebury scoring seven goals for the term, bringing the deficit to just two goals, with Montmorency leading going into the fourth quarter 25-23.
The final quarter saw three positional changes for Bundoora with Kate Butler moving from WA to GA, Jacinta Tonkin switching to WA out of C and Lauren Hubbard coming off the bench to begin play in C. It was obvious Bundoora were going to put up a fight.
Both sides kept tight defence across court, with every pass contested – leaving no room for errors.
Pendlebury and Butler pulled some amazing rebounds for Bundoora in attack to ensure that no extra scoring opportunities went to Montmorency.
The intensity of both teams began to lift in the final two minutes as the score moved to 32-all and the crowd fell silent.
Montmorency’s WA Laura Misale could be heard encouraging her team whilst she continued to feed amazing passes into her shooting circle.
The final twenty seconds saw the score in Montmorency’s favour 34-33, with the Bundoora attack missing a late attempt, which was rebounded by Montmorency GD Amanda Spillare to secure the win and a grand final spot for her team.
Final Score: Bundoora 1 (33) def by Montmorency 1 (34)
Section 1 First Semi Final – Bundoora 2 vs Craigieburn 1
Bundoora 2 defeated Craigieburn 1 to advance to the Section 1 preliminary final.
The Bundoora 2 side stepped onto court like it was just another day in the office, with GA Emily Williams scoring a remarkable 12 goals in the opening ten minutes of the match.
Craigieburn GA Dannia Suafoa was immediately put under pressure by Bundoora GD Lauryn Hill, who worked hard in defence to force errors.
Whilst at the other end of the court, the Bundoora attack worked brilliantly to convert a total of 15 goals in the first quarter, with GS Emily Duggan and GA Emily Williams rewarding their team’s defensive efforts to put Bundoora ahead by seven goals at quarter time.
Both teams remained in the same positions for the second quarter with Craigieburn WD Megan Kolbe forcing an error from Bundoora in the centre third which was rewarded by a goal from GS Gabrielle Sims in the opening two minutes.
Craigieburn GK Abigail Sergienko and GD Ebony Gilbert rose to the challenge, shutting down the Bundoora shooters to ensure the Bulls’ lead did not expand.
Gilbert and Sergienko jumped for every rebound, with their defensive effort being rewarded by Sims and Suafoa at the other end, who kept the score within seven goals.
Bundoora forced Craigieburn to make an error in the last two minutes allowing themselves to maintain their lead at half time with a score of 22-15.
Bundoora pulled away in the third quarter, with WD Maighan Corps and WA Tessa Bruno working relentlessly on the circle’s edge to assist their team in any way possible.
Bundoora GK Roslyn Bruno shut down the Craigieburn attacking circle, limiting them to only six goals for the entire quarter, whilst Bundoora GS Emily Duggan and GA Emily Williams calmly converted a total of eight shots to maintain Bundoora’s lead heading into the last quarter.
Bundoora took a nine-goal lead into three quarter time, with the score reading 30-21.
The shuffle in positions for Craigieburn demonstrated that they knew they had to try something different to produce a come-from-behind win.
Centre Alicia Wilkes moved to GA, whilst WA Julia Sims moved into GD, allowing an almost complete reshuffle for the team.
Bundoora remained relaxed as Duggan and Williams received lovely feeds from C Emily Hayman to score nine goals for the term and securing their side a place in the preliminary final with a 39-25 triumph.
Bundoora 2 is set to take on Bundoora 1 in the preliminary final.
Final score: Bundoora 2 (39) def Craigieburn 1 (25)
Image by Esther Rubio