Read match reviews from each Section 1 netball match in the first round following grading.
Section 1 – Fitzroy Stars 1 vs Greensborough 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A competitive match between the Fitzroy Stars 1 and Greensborough 1 resulted in the Boro taking control in the final quarter to win by five goals.
Greensborough was quick to start, making the most of its early opportunities early to establish a four-goal lead before the Stars scored their first goal.
Boro GK Adele Cosma and GD Stephanie Calabrese worked well together in defence, confusing the space and coming up with plenty of deflections early.
The Stars found their rhythm roughly halfway through the quarter as their connections started to flow well across the court and they were able to land the ball in the hands of GS Natasha Atkinson Brown.
Five goals separated the teams at the end of the first quarter with Greensborough ahead before the intensity went up a notch in the second term.
During the second quarter, the Stars were formidable in attack with pinpoint feeds into the goal circle from WA Anita North, paired with strong drives from GA Brigitte Linares, opened the circle more for Atkinson Brown to find plenty of room close to the ring.
Down the other end of the court, a few missed goals from the Boro were rebounded by Stars’ GK Jessica Bamblett, who worked well with her teammates to quickly transition from defence to attack.
With Greensborough struggling to hit the scoreboard, the Stars were able to steal the lead – finishing the quarter two goals up.
The match got scrappy in the third term with errant passes a problem for both teams and the desperation to turn over the ball resulting in many contact calls and a caution for a late challenge.
Greensborough was quickest to settle, making up the two goals it needed to draw level midway through the quarter.
A strong rebound from Boro GD Rebecca McDonagh resulted in a goal to GA Lilli Florance, putting them back in front as they then scored again off their centre pass.
Despite the change in momentum, the Stars kept up with Greensborough, continuing to put suffocating defensive pressure over each pass. However, they were unable to take the lead back, finishing the quarter one goal down.
Smart fending from Fitzroy Stars GK Bamblett allowed the Stars to make one goal back and then a rebound from Thamar Atkinson put them back in front.
The lead did not last long though as every Greensborough player on court pushed a little bit harder and were able to win ball back.
An impressive intercept from Boro WA Isabelle Conroy on a Stars centre pass was vital in turning the quarter around, paired with sharp shooting from GS Chantelle Power and GA Florance.
The Stars had opportunities late to transition the ball from defence to attack, however, the defensive pressure across the court from Greensborough was outstanding and caused the Stars to fall into making crucial errors.
The Boro players managed to win ball back without drawing too many penalties.
In the end, Greensborough’s ability to stay composed under pressure in the final quarter is what got them over the line.
Final score: Fitzroy Stars 1 (42) def by Greensborough 1 (47)
Section 1 – North Heidelberg 1 vs Bundoora 1
by Stephanie Smarrelli
A dominant third quarter effort from North Heidelberg 1 made it too hard for Bundoora 1 to work their way back in an 11-goal result at RMIT University.
Both teams were slow to start, with a series of errors causing the ball to go back and forth between sides before North Heidelberg were able to create a two-goal lead.
However, Bundoora quickly caught up and took the lead after a few stray passes went out and the Bulls were able to capitalise.
Quick transitions from defence into attack set up Bundoora well, while North Heidelberg’s connections failed to flow in the opening few minutes of the quarter.
Smart movement between Bundoora’s two shooters GS Emily Duggan and GA Emily Williams allowed both players to create room for each other in the goal circle against strong opponents.
At the end of the opening quarter, Bundoora was ahead by four goals.
Both sides had a strong second quarter, with North Heidelberg preventing its opponent from running too far ahead.
In attack, GA Kate Butler did a wealth of work for North Heidelberg to draw the Bundoora defenders out and leave plenty of room in the goal circle for GS Abigail Gedge.
Intercepts from GD Jessica Dao and GK Tessa Willett helped the Bulldogs to stay in the match as Bundoora continued to work the ball into the ring.
Ending the half two goals down, North Heidelberg had the first centre pass of the third quarter, allowing the Bulldogs to trim the margin immediately.
Rebounding every opportunity that came their way, the North Heidelberg defenders enabled their side to draw even within the first few minutes of the second half.
The next centre pass then theirs, North Heidelberg moved with precision before GS Gedge confidently slotted the goal they needed to steal the lead.
A fast goal from Bundoora saw them draw level again with the centre pass then in their favour. However, a call for delaying the play then went against the Bulls and flipped momentum as the centre pass was then given to North Heidelberg.
The Bulldogs swiftly made the most of the decision with two goals in a row, while Bundoora found itself struggling to resettle.
North Heidelberg’s midcourters C Olivia Ellis and WA Shelby Strong were able to share the feeds between each other and set up their shooters well in the second half of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs upped the defensive pressure across the court, causing Bundoora to make mistakes and rush their passes.
As North Heidelberg continued to make the most of the Bulls’ mistakes, they were able to create a comfortable eight-goal buffer heading into the final quarter.
North Heidelberg did not slow down in the fourth term. Under an immense amount of pressure, Bundoora was unable to regain composure as missed goals and bad feeds resulted in turnover after turnover.
Making the most of every opportunity, the Bulldogs pushed their opponents further and further behind on the scoreboard, eventually taking their second win of the season.
Final score: North Heidelberg 1 (56) def Bundoora 1 (45)
Section 1 – Diamond Creek 1 vs Ivanhoe 1
by Marisa Sopcic
A dominant Diamond Creek 1 proved too strong for Ivanhoe 1 and took home a 14-goal win at RMIT University.
Some wayward passes early coast Ivanhoe the chance to open the scoring and allowed Diamond Creek to be the first on the board via a turnover.
Diamond Creek GA Chloe Gray was off balance as she tried to catch a pass fired into the attacking end, as Ivanhoe GK Suli Leota Lu read the pass and was able to tap the ball out to a teammate. Ivanhoe then moved the ball forward for its first goal.
Too many passes around the circle by Diamond Creek gave Leota Lu another opportunity to intercept the ball.
Despite making several mistakes going forward, Diamond Creek’s defence kept their side ahead by offering no space for Ivanhoe in their attacking third.
Ivanhoe’s shooters had to work hard to find any space and a hopeful pass forward by Grace Markovic eventually made its way down to GA Bridget McLaren, who was able to score.
Ivanhoe trailed by four goals at quarter time and some strong defence by Diamond Creek in the second term left no room for errors in the circle from Ivanhoe, with the Creekers catching every rebound.
A few hiccups in attack from Diamond Creek meant they weren’t able to stretch their advantage.
Ivanhoe was able to close the gap via goals to Aysha Blade and McLaren, however it was then that Diamond Creek began to stamp its authority on the game.
Diamond Creek GS Kelly Sadowy was particularly lively, often positioning herself perfectly to take rebounds in the Creekers’ attacking end.
The Creekers’ accurate shooting helped them extend their lead out to 10 goals, however Ivanhoe never threw in the towel as they continued to apply great pressure to their opponents.
Despite this pressure, Diamond Creek was able to cut through to its attacking circle with quick ball movement and fast and accurate passes to their shooters.
Leading by 12 goals at three quarter time, Diamond Creek had a large advantage heading into the final quarter.
Ivanhoe GD Lauren Henderson made a clean intercept from a Diamond Creek pass into the ring, but possession was short lived for her side as Diamond Creek GK Georgia Bowkett turned over the ball before Ivanhoe could make an attempt at a goal.
The ball continued to zip around the court during the final term, however despite their best efforts, Ivanhoe was unable to make any major dent on Diamond Creek’s scoreboard advantage.
The Creekers took a well contested final term by two goals to stretch their final winning margin to 14 goals and claim their fourth triumph of the season.
Final score: Diamond Creek 1 (57) def Ivanhoe 1 (43)
Section 1 – Heidelberg 1 vs Diamond Creek 2
by Marisa Sopcic
Diamond Creek 2 and Heidelberg 1 played out a nail-biter in Section 1 in the first round following grading, with the Creekers prevailing by a solitary goal.
The Creekers scored the last goal deep in the final term to claim a 41-40 victory at RMIT University.
Heidelberg made the better start and converted a couple of well-executed plays early on in the game.
The first quarter saw strong defence across the court, as Diamond Creek amped up their defensive pressure to match that of Heidelberg.
Heidelberg WD Emily Rowe produced a great highlight when she stole the centre from Diamond Creek, to give her side a team-lifting moment.
GK Akanisi Seeto was strong on intercepts and she dominated along the third line.
Diamond Creek shooters were often pushed out of shooting range but had support from WA Bree Pascoe which allowed them to adjust.
After a tight first quarter Heidelberg and Diamond Creek were tied on 10 goals.
Heidelberg’s passes into the shooting circle hindered them in the second quarter. They were able to take possession well down the court but couldn’t reign in the play at the post.
Heidelberg GK Seeto was given an intimidation warning as Diamond Creek pressed forward on the scoreboard.
Heidelberg GS Lauren Spinks used impressive footwork to work her way around Diamond Creek defenders for easy shots at goal to keep her side close on the scoreboard.
Heidelberg made a stellar comeback towards the end of the half to close the score to 19-20 after a lead was taken by Diamond Creek earlier in the quarter.
Diamond Creek WD Emily O’Brien intercepted the first centre on what could have been Heidelberg’s chance to re-tie scores.
Heidelberg GK Seeto managed to always get a hand on rebounds, but her side struggled to clear centre passes, with Diamond Creek contesting the ball so well.
The Tigers had to use every turnover in their defence effectively in order to close the gap that Diamond Creek had created in the opening minutes of the third term.
Heidelberg was able to tie the scores late in the quarter, but a Diamond Creek goal in the dying seconds allowed the Creekers to take the narrowest of leads into the last term.
The defenders of both sides were crucial players in the final term, as they continuously turned over the ball.
The strong hands of Seeto ensured she secured many rebounds, with her shooters able to take advantage at the other end to tie the scores at 34-all.
Diamond Creek WA Pascoe and C O’Brien collided on their way to the circle edge. Pascoe went down with an ankle injury and her team played out the final minutes, down one player.
Each centre pass became vital as precious minutes ticked off the clock.
Seeto picked up an intercept for Heidelberg, but Diamond Creek’s GD Simone Turner was focused on the rebound at the other end to take back possession for the Creekers.
Heidelberg forced a held ball just outside their circle and then tied the game at 40-all.
A contact by Heidelberg gave Diamond Creek extra time to shoot for the final goal and a conversion ensured the Creekers claimed a thriller by just one goal.
Final score: Heidelberg 1 (40) def by Diamond Creek 2 (41)