Panton Hill 1 have confirmed their top two spot on the 2022-23 NFNL senior summer netball Section 4 ladder after defeating Northcote Park 1 by 14 goals at Mernda Central College.
Already with a finals spot secured, the Redbacks continued their impressive run of form, with an 18 goal to nine second half, sealing their fourth consecutive win of the season and a second-place finish to the regular season.
A lot needed to fall Northcote Park’s way if they were to sneak into the top four for the first time all season. The Cougars had to defeat the Redbacks by a large enough margin to jump Bundoora 6 on percentage and hope that the Bulls lost their clash with West Preston-Lakeside 1. However, the Bulls claimed victory and despite a gallant effort, Northcote Park fell short.
Redbacks shooters Alex Carlin (26 majors) and Brooke Ryan (eight) made the goal circle their own, being able to create any space they wanted. Meanwhile goalkeeper Zoe Payne was superb in the defensive end, adding towards the team’s momentum throughout the match.
Natasha Symons top scored for Northcote Park with 13 goals in just her second game of the season, while Grace Keppel contributed with seven majors.
The Redbacks looked the more comfortable side from the opening whistle, with the work of centre Keshia Aickin and wing attack Shaylen Ridsdale Wellington putting the Cougars on the backfoot.
Northcote Park did produce their highest scoring quarter in the opening term however as Symons led the way with four goals.
Four goals down at quarter time, the Cougars ramped up their defensive pressure with goalkeeper Kellie Moorcroft standing out for her side.
They were able to limit their opponents to just six goals for the quarter as a result, but their deficit did grow to five majors at the main break.
Panton Hill then started the second half as they did the first, with a strong attacking display seeing them start to extend their lead again. Carlin scored eight of her side’s nine third term goals to create a 10-goal buffer at three quarter time.
The Cougars didn’t put their heads down as the final quarter commenced, with Symons producing her second four-goal term of the match to keep the scoreboard ticking over for her side.
But nine goals from the Redbacks in the fourth quarter secured the victory as well as a double chance spot heading into the finals in a fortnight’s time.