Blistering start from West Gambier puts match out of Millicent’s reach

Blistering start from West Gambier puts match out of Millicent’s reach

Millicent V West

It started as an arm wrestle when Millicent hosted West Gambier but the Roos quickly decided to put the foot down and by the first break had established a 10 goal advantage.

It was a quarter time margin built on relentless defensive pressure that saw Amy Cram and Chelsea Tremelling creating plenty of turnover ball, while the pressure over the show from Cram and Mikaela Horrigan made scoring a struggle for the Saints.

West’s transition was also impressive as Millicent could find no way to slow the slick ball movement that saw Tara Bryant, Jess Holmes and Lisa McGregor connect with ease and find Sarah Ritter in space, scoring 14 from 16.

Millicent reacted quickly to the poor start, as they continue to manufacture a new look forward line with the current absence of Tabatha Sanderson and Demi Verbena, moving Edie Easterby into the goal attack role and stiffening up the defensive pressure and strengthening the on court leadership with Lisa Duldig at wing defence.

It saw the game quickly back in arm wrestle mode and a more goal for goal contest.

In fact, the Saints got it back to five goals quickly before the Roos upped the ante again with their defensive pressure to see the margin restored and increased by one to sit at 11 at the main break.

Easterby’s injection into the shooting circle added some aerial threat and her seven from nine vindicated the decision as she also improved the Saints’ rebounding efforts so not every missed goal ended up in turnover.

The Roos again stepped it up in the third as Horrigan and Cram continued to get important touches and force Millicent mid courters Daisy Tunkin and Lillie Paul to do a mountain of work to find their shooters in space.

At the other end, Ritter and McGregor combined for 17 from 19 and the 16 goal three quarter time margin put the result beyond doubt.

Abby Denton returned to the goal attack bib in the last quarter, with Easterby taking the goal shooter role and while Portia McRae had her best quarter in blanketing Ritter, McGregor was able to up her scoring rate and the final margin fell at 18 goals.

Easterby certainly showed promise in the shooting circle, while Lauren VanEeden worked hard defensively and snared some critical rebounds, while her drive through the mid court in transition was also important.

Ritter was again dominant and accurate, while Cram and Tremelling crated plenty of turnover ball and Holmes hit the circle hard and delivered some stunning balls to Ritter and McGregor.

North V South

North Gambier made a strong statement in the opening quarter of the Anzac Day clash with South Gambier, dominating the first 15 minutes and taking a 17 goal lead into the first break.

Kelly Lockwood and Macey Griffith were unstoppable in the shooting circle with their well timed movement, setting of screens and accurate finishing with Lockwood nailing all 15 of her first quarter attempts and Griffth converting eight from nine in an ambush of epic proportions.

The speed of ball was also impressive as Brianna Walters and Kaitlin Egan drove hard and used their speed to great effect, while Ava Collins, Lauran Norman and Stella Mobbs shut down South’s scoring avenues at every turn.

The Demons did recover in the second as Megan Reid started to find more space in the shooting circle and the entire South team upped the ante on defensive pressure as the Tigers had to work a little harder to generate scoring opportunities.

It saw the home side only increase its lead by one goal by half time.

The Tigers put the foot down again in the third as Lockwood again asserted her dominance with 11 from 12, while at the other end, Ash Widdison started to find her rhythm at goal shooter and had her best quarter netting seven from nine.

Mischa Human entered the fray at goal shooter for the Tigers in the final quarter, with the margin already at 25, with Lockwood earning a run out at goal attack in what was a somewhat lacklustre final quarter.

Lauran Norman earned the Shirley Underwood Medal courtesy of her ability to create turnovers, taking some stunning interceptions and providing a key player in transition, while Lockwood is proving to be a great pick up for the Tigers with her slick moves and accurate finishing.

Egan and Walters also dominated the mid court and fed with accuracy.

Ellie Bouchier recovered from a slow start to get a number of critical touches and strong rebounds, while Reid worked hard all day in and outside the circle to help her team generate scoring chances.

East V Casterton Sandford

The clash between East Gambier and Casterton Sandford was the closest match of the round as neither side could assert any dominance in the contest.

East coach Malinda Foster made the most of her opportunities in the opening quarter, netting 10 from 11 as East worked its way to a four goal quarter time lead.

It was a game where the defensive pressure was relentless from both sides and Bo Creek and Morgan Amy certainly stifled the Cats goalers in the opening stanza, creating just enough turnover ball to see the Bulldogs secure that narrow lead.

The Cats found some better mojo in attack in the second quarter and with Chelsea Hulm rewarding her team mates with seven from eight the margin was trimmed to only three at the main break.

The defensive end of the Casterton Sandford line-up also had an improved second quarter as Caeleigh Humphries, Chloe Finnigan and Ebany Jarrad made it a lot more difficult for East to find their goalers in space.

The third quarter was all about

Foster again as she became the dominant goaler on court, converting 11 of her 12 attempts, including a

few of her trademark long range bombs.

Hulm continued to work hard and find plenty of the ball, while Phoebe Carlin was added to the contest during that quarter to bring some fresh legs and strong defensive traits to the centre position.

It was a five goal lead going into the last and in a scrappy final quarter both sides experimented with their line-ups to try and gain the upper hand.

Creek continued to get some important defensive touches and her work over the shot and rebounding strength ensured East maintained their buffer, while a reconfigured Cats defensive line also produced turnovers but not all ended up on the scoreboard allowing East to finish with a six goal victory.

Creek and the hard running Casey Horrigan were best for East, while Jarrad applied defensive pressure all day and Hulm did a mountain of work at goal attack for the Cats.

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