The Border Watch : April 1st 2014
SPORT NEWS TIPS email@example.com SPORT 33 Saints weather the storm to take pre-season title MILLICENT has started the 2014 season in style, coming from behind in the Elastoplast Cup grand final to win the first silverware on offer this season. North Gambier had the measure of the Saints in the early going in the pre-season title decider with a hesitant Millicent forward line not enjoying its usual fluency, allowing Tigers defender Alannah Campbell and Meg Gazzard to create turnovers with monotonous regularity. And with former Saint Audine Bryant controlling the mid court and goalers Ashlee Kalontarian and Abbey Duncan finding plenty of space and converting with good accuracy. North led by three at the main break and as so often happens, coach Lisa Duldig, who moved from the attacking wing into the centre, former coach Donna Denton and defender Hayley Dunn lifted the intensity a cog and dragged their less experienced team mates with them. Kylie Walker moved into the defensive circle at the main change and combined well with Dunn to shut down the Tigers goalers, making space a lot harder to find. The connection between Denton and new shooting partner Danika Jolley, a former Tiger, started to find some rhythm in the second half as well as Pip Ellis, who moved to the attacking wing, became an important link player as well. Injuries didn’t help North’s cause, entering the grand final with two of their most experienced players sidelined thanks to injuries sustained in the preliminary round and semi-final respectively. Veteran defender Leanne Cameron with an ankle, an injury that has plagued her entire career, and Michelle Hosking with an Achilles injury that will require surgery and sideline her for the season. Bailey Watson earned a call up to the Tigers starting seven and while playing out of position at wing defence, earned a number of touches. While no one ever shuts Denton down, in the first half, in particular, Gazzard certainly went toe for toe with the champion and made her work for every possession. Duncan is a great pick up for the Tigers, the Kalangadoo premiership player, adding some impressive movement and accurate long range finishing to the North shooting circle. Denton, as always, took control for the Saints, while Dunn got critical touches in the second half that ensured the Saints maintained control once they had regained the lead. Both sides went into the title decider undefeated and were not challenged in their respective pools. Naracoorte was a great inclusion in the competition, giving the Western Border clubs a different opponent to try new tactics against, while East, West and Casterton had undermanned squads and South also had a side combining A grade players with some junior talent. Results 17 and under Round robin results – East 20 d North 14; South 16 d West 13; East 23 d South 10; North 19 d Millicent 11; East 19 d West 8; Millicent 14 d South 13; North 21 d South 21; West 17 d Millicent 16. Grand final – East 26 d North 19 (in overtime). Open Pool A round robin results – Millicent 27 d Naracoorte 12; Casterton 17 d South 15; Millicent 27 d South 17; Casterton 23 d Naracoorte 15; South 24 d Naracoorte 14; Millicent 31 d Casterton 8. Pool B round robin results – North 26 d East 9; North 26 d West 10; West 19 d East 15. Semi-finals – Millicent 24 d West 13; North 26 d Casterton 9. Grand final – Millicent 26 d North 22. LOOKING TO SCORE: North’s Ashlee Kalontarian looks for a strong position during the Western Border Netball League pre-season cup grand final. ATTACK: North Gambier’s Brianna Walters in attack during the Western Border Netball League pre-season cup grand final in Millicent on Saturday. The Border Watch, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 33 CHAMPIONS: Millicent’s pre-season cup champions (back from left) Natalie Potter, Danika Jolley, Tanaya Redman, Melinda Squire, Hayley Dunn (c), Lucy Walker. (front) Kylie Grosser, Pippin Ellis, Lisa Duldig (coach), Donna Denton (c).
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