The Border Watch : April 15th 2014
34 NETBALL VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Saints get up in grand final rematch DI GOULD Millicent 62 d West 54 THE grand final rematch headlined the opening round of Western Border netball with the reigning champs Millicent securing the win by only eight goals over West Gambier. With both sides still tinkering with com- binations, the match saw the home side in control for the most part, aside from a third quarter fadeout where the defensive pressure from the Roos saw West win the quarter and head into the final stanza only six goals down. For new Millicent coach Lisa Duldig it was an interesting first up time in the hot seat. PICTURE OF CONCENTRATION: East Gambier’s Sarah Lock looks to score in her team’s loss to North Gambier. Picture: FRANK MONGER. “I really enjoyed it but it was different – remembering not just to concentrate on your own game but what is happening with everyone else as well,” she said. “It was a close affair and we made changes and in the end I was happy to get the win.” Reigning association best and fairest Donna Denton was a key to the victory, shooting with her usual accuracy, marshalling the troops in offence and also having a real presence defensively. “In the second half, and particularly the last quarter, she got quite a few turnovers and really made a difference,” Duldig said. Missing young defender Alex Walker, the Saints played around mainly with their attack line, starting new recruit Danika Jolley on the attacking wing before putting her under the post in combination with Denton. Their defensive end was certainly chal- MOVING FORWARD: Millicent’s Danika Jolley looks to move the ball forward in her team’s win over West Gambier. lenged as Roos goalers Lisa Cram and Kahli Rolton picked up where they left off in 2012, the last time they played together, and their accurate finishing and strong positioning tested Hayley Dunn and Tanaya Redman. Despite ending in a loss, coach Amy Cram was thrilled with the first hit out of 2014. “We haven’t really trained as a group yet and it was our first time on court, Lisa (Cram) hadn’t even picked up a ball for five weeks, so it was good to see we can just go out there and play,” she said. “We worked hard one-on-one defensively and tried something a bit different in the third quarter and it was good to see that while we still have a lot of work to do, the things we want to try will work and we matched it with Millicent.” Cram believed it was more about her side losing the game and that there was plenty for the Roos to refine. The new look West line-up saw Mollie Muhovics in the defensive circle with Amy Cram, Rachael Langford (Wilson) on the defensive wing and former defender Carly Trevilyan in the middle. Carlee Davey took on the attacking wing with Lisa Cram and Rolton in the shooting roles. Teenager Maddy Teakle took Muhovics’ bib for the final quarter. “To win the third quarter was really pleasing and to just see that Millicent is beatable was a positive step for us,” Cram said. “We just need to focus on what we need to get right and not worry about what other teams are doing.” North 59 d East 34 NORTH Gambier also made a solid start to 2014, picking up a 25-goal victory without star recruit and new playing coach Audine Bryant at the game. Under lights, the Tigers got off to a flier IN CONTROL: East Gambier’s Jess Duke looks to take control. 34 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Picture: FRANK MONGER. and were never troubled by East Gambier, working their way to a 10 goal quarter time lead after the Bulldogs, understandably got UNDER PRESSURE: West Gambier’s Kahli Rolton and Millicent’s Hayley Dunn contest a ball in the goal circle. off to a slow start. “For the first game for a new team I thought we did well,” new East Gambier coach Bo Richards said. “We haven’t decided on a combination and haven’t had a long time to work together and I thought the effort was good and we showed enough to show with more hard work at training we will improve.” Richards, who was one of the Bulldogs’ best, was happy with the defensive pressure the Bulldogs were able to exert on the slick Tigers forward line and was only really disappointed with some lack of looking after the ball and a sluggish finish to the game in the final quarter. “They had a lot more experience in their team and the fact we could still turn the ball over defensively was a really good sign,” Richards said. And there were no passengers in the North line-up from the defensive efforts of goal defender Alannah Campbell and wing defender Meg Gazzard, to the quick ball movement and accurate finishing of Ashlee Kalontarian and Abbey Duncan. The Kalangadoo premiership player was a revelation in goals for the Tigers, starting her Western Border career with a seven-from-seven opening quarter and then shooting eight from nine in the second. The athletic ability and creative moving from both Kalontarian and Duncan will test every defensive combination this season and after a solid Elastoplast Cup, the duo showed under lights that they will be a force to be reckoned with as a shooting combination. Bailey Watson made her official A grade debut for the Tigers and worked her way into the game nicely on the attacking wing, in combination with the ever-consistent Brianna Walters. The match went goal for goal in the open- ing five minutes before the Tigers pulled away and then never looked threatened. Experienced East shooter Sarah Lock did her part in keeping the Bulldogs in touch, shooting a perfect eight-from-eight in the second quarter and then adding a further nine in the third, also with a good conversion rate. And in another positive for the Bulldogs, Jess Duke was a star performer through the mid court, running hard all day and proving to be a key link player, a clever feeder and also earning some defensive stops. But in the end North has the premiership points courtesy of a 59-34 victory. South 53 d Casterton/Sandford 40 IN the other game of the round, South Gambier unveiled its new-look line-up at home to Casterton Sandford, that also had plenty of changes to its 2013 playing roster. The Demons were the first to gain the ascendancy and late in the game led by as many as 16 goals before ending up with a 53-40 victory. Teenage mid courter Liza Mutch, who was originally a Cat, made her A grade debut for the Demons and was outstanding on the attacking wing. Belying her size and experience, the young talent took on every challenge, including the tight checking defence of Scarlet Jarrad, to be arguably the best player on the court. She created some defensive stops as well as showing a work ethic that was second to none as she continued to drive hard to the Demons’ circle edge and fed goalers Chantelle Weir and Malinda Markiewicz with some clever passing options. Megan Hein, another teenager, also made her debut for South, as the young mid court showed enough promise to suggest the Demons will build nicely across the season. As has been the case for South for a couple of seasons, defenders Lisa King and Alyce Mourbey created plenty of opportunities for their team mates, while Nicole Butler, in her return to the red and white, was important in transition and in her on court leadership for the Demons. Weir and Markiewicz also showed glimpses of the incredible potential of their shooting combination. The Cats were best served by goaler Jan Murphy, who ran hard all day and finished with impressive accuracy and defender Abbey Shannon, who came up with her usual swag of interceptions and deft touches to keep the cats in touch. Natalie Rhook and Haylee Rhook were again solid through the mid court and the keys for the Cats in transition.
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