The Northern Football Netball League’s representative teams both came out victorious against the Eastern Football League at Knox Regional Netball Centre.
The open netball match was a thriller with the Northern Football Netball League winning over the Eastern Football League to continue the NFNL’s undefeated streak.
The NFNL opened the match quickly, scoring from the EFL’s nervous start to give themselves a 4-0 lead within the first two minutes.
NFNL GS and captain Bec Colwell started the game strongly, seeming unfazed by the quick feet and long reach of the EFL’s GK Allana Osborne to find herself in front position consistently.
The NFNL held up the EFL in their attack before eventually they found a way through with GS Victoria McLellan scoring the first goal for the EFL.
Halfway through the first quarter the EFL settled into the game and their connections started to hit their targets.
Defensively EFL’s GD Marian Varney was impressive, finding room to intercept passes coming into her and putting pressure over the shooter’s attempts at goal.
By the end of the first quarter, the EFL had managed to work their way back with GA Claire Van Dreumel scoring a goal just as time ran out to put them only a goal behind.
The first centre pass of the second quarter saw the NFNL’s GA Chloe Meulenmeesters fumble with the ball, allowing the EFL to swoop in and steal possession for a goal. The scores became tied and the EFL had the next centre pass.
Noticing the dire situation, the NFNL’s GD Georgia Bowkett came out hunting and took a crucial intercept before the EFL’s GD Stephanie McNay intercepted the ball. The EFL moved with precision ensuring GS Lauren Woodgate would end up with the ball. Woodgate delivered and the EFL hit the front.
NFNL C Olivia Ellis deflected the ball smartly to GK Rebecca McDonagh’s advantage which then resulted in GA Meulenmeesters scoring her first goal since coming onto the court.
A missed goal from the EFL’s centre pass resulted in the lead swinging back in the favour of the NFNL and the contest continued on. After a tight quarter the teams went into the half-time break tied on 21-all.
The EFL had a dominant start to the third quarter, however, the NFNL’s determination to not go down without a fight brought them back by the quarter’s end.
EFL C Krista Tomlinson had a good quarter using all of her three seconds to hold onto possession and calculate which teammate would be best to pass to before throwing.
In their circle, the EFL’s shooting partnership of Woodgate and Van Dreumel continued to be impressive as they put up goal after goal.
A few bad passes crept into the NFNL’s game as the pressure continued to build and the EFL used them to their advantage, establishing a four-goal lead before the NFNL reignited.
A contact call against Van Dreumel just before the final minute of the quarter resulted in the ball landing in the safe hands of the NFNL’s GS Colwell for a goal. With the NFNL’s centre pass up next, the team moved quickly into Colwell again for another goal.
A missed shot by the EFL’s Woodgate resulted in a good rebound from the NFNL’s GD Bowkett, who moved the ball on quickly before it was fed into GA Meulenmeesters in the nick of time for a goal that would see the teams go into the final quarter even on 33.
With the centre pass in the NFNL’s favour the side moved swiftly into attack for a goal to take the lead in the fourth.
Both teams traded goals for much of the quarter, before finally the NFNL’s WD Jessica Dao took a pivotal intercept that gave GS Colwell the chance to swing the momentum her team’s way and she succeeded.
With just under three and a half minutes remaining the NFNL scored off their centre pass to extend their lead to three. Starting to get desperate the EFL switched up their passing with a long shoulder pass missing its target, giving the NFNL another goal.
The NFNL remained calm on court and continued to charge into attack with precision on their passes to ensure they didn’t give the EFL an opportunity to come back as there was still time.
Another impressive intercept from the NFNL’s WD Dao helped to cement her team’s lead. After a tight match that saw the momentum swing multiple times, the NFNL were able to keep fighting to regain their composure and win by six goals.
Best on court for the EFL was the quick moving defender Allana Osborne and for the NFNL defender Georgia Bowkett was named best on court for the second year in a row.
Final score: NFNL (46) def EFL (40)
The Northern Football Netball League’s under-19s put on a dominant performance for a 33-goal win over the Eastern Football League.
The EFL had a shaky start to the match with pass after pass intercepted by Northern’s GK Charlie Seivers, who came out hunting.
Northern’s WA Lauren Jones had a particularly good start feeding the ball in well to GS Chloe Gray for their first goal.
C Chloe Lambert also was impressive for NFNL, weaving her way around the court to lose her opponent C Charlotte Sparkes multiple times.
The EFL moved the ball down court well for certain passages of play, however, NFNL’s defence was too good with turnover after turnover landing in the hands of GS Gray and GA Leanna Sartori.
Towards the end of the quarter EFL lifted defensively, causing the NFNL to throw the ball backwards, however, the NFNL went into the first break up by seven.
Intercepts continued to be a strength for the NFNL in the second quarter with WD Claire Hardi taking one after the EFL’s first centre pass of the quarter.
The EFL worked well in defence with GK Alanna Lennie, GD Olivia Patterson-Dodge and WD Jacinta Morganella putting pressure over the ball to force errors, however, the NFNL’s tight defensive work won them the ball back on most occasions.
At half-time the scores were 20-6 in favour of the NFNL.
During the second half, the NFNL continued to capitalise off the EFL’s mistakes. Scoring off the EFL’s centre pass after their C was caught throwing the ball on the centre pass without standing in the centre circle properly twice.
The EFL continued to struggle under the NFNL’s full-court defensive pressure, causing plenty of intercepts and held balls that the NFNL were quick to gain from pushing their lead out further as the match went on.
The few times the ball landed in the EFL’s attacking end their GA Jay Graham and their GS Georgie Smith made the most of it, scoring six goals in the quarter, their highest for the game.
The NFNL dominated the third quarter to leave the EFL down by 23 goals at the final break.
The EFL looked like they had lost all steam come the final quarter, however, they still fought on to the end.
In particular the EFL’s WD Morganella moved her feet well to deflect to their team’s advantage, resulting in a goal.
The NFNL’s attackers found plenty of space in the circle to move around and work their way closer to the ring as the EFL’s defenders started to look fatigued.
The NFNL’s GK Chrissy Finnerty had a particularly good last quarter, with strong leans over the EFL’s GS Brianna Baxter, causing Baxter to hold the ball under the ring resulting in a NFNL goal.
The NFNL’s impressive defensive work and slick attack led them to victory by 33 goals.
Chloe Lambert was named the best on court for the NFNL for her outstanding effort in centre and Alanna Lennie for the EFL for her hard work in defence.
Final score: NFNL (48) def EFL (15)