The Northern Football Netball League’s unbeaten streak in representative netball came to an end at the hands of the Geelong Football Netball League.
The NFNL entered this year’s Community Championships with a perfect record at representative level, having won all 10 of its open and under-19 representative games over the past four years.
Unfortunately, the winning run was brought to an end at Highton’s Queens Park, where the NFNL was no match for two impressive GFNL outfits.
The open side fell to a 98-23 defeat, while the under-19s were beaten 71-29 in the earlier match.
The GFNL raced out of the blocks in the under-19 match, taking a 20-6 lead into quarter time.
The home side continued its impressive run during the second term to extend its advantage to 30 goals at half time – despite our girls’ best efforts.
The GFNL’s shooting accuracy during the second quarter was at times impossible to contain, converting 22 of their 27 shots.
Despite the odds of a comeback being stacked against them, the NFNL’s young guns showed great spirit during the third term to change the tide of the game.
The NFNL won the the quarter, with Paris Bosschieter, Leanna Sartori and Tiarne Shell all contributing to the league’s 11-goal term.
Unfortunately, the strong quarter was soured by an ankle injury to skipper Kirra Parks, who was forced from the court and unable to take any further part in the match.
Geelong regained control of the contest in the final term, putting in 17 goals to eight to finish with a 42-goal win.
Leanna Sartori was rewarded for her strong game in both goal attack and wing attack and claimed the NFNL’s best player medal.
The GFNL proved even more dominant in the open match, storming to a 75-goal triumph after shooting at 85 percent accuracy throughout the game.
The NFNL proved competitive throughout the opening half of the first term, however the home side soon stamped their authority on the contest to take a 23-7 lead into the first break.
GFNL goal shooter Ruby Horton was a key player in the first half, nailing 18 of her 23 shots in the opening term, before adding a further 16 goals in the second quarter.
The GNFL were unrelenting throughout the second and terms, continually keeping the scoreboard ticking over, while also defending strongly.
Despite being unable to keep pace with their impressive opponents, the NFNL’s effort never diminished.
The line-up was continually rotated in the hope of finding a mix that could limit the damage on the scoreboard.
Grace Markovic was switched from goal keeper to goal attack in the final term and proved a lively option inside the shooting circle.
Markovic added six goals as the NFNL enjoyed its most fruitful quarter in attack for the match.
The Ivanhoe youngster was one of four NFNL players to play all four quarters and was awarded the medal as the league’s best player in defeat.