‘Do or die’ contest in big netball round

NORTH GAMBIER V SOUTH GAMBIER

Last week was basically an elimination final for the Demons – they can be rest assured this weekend is a do-or-die contest when South heads to Vansittart Park in round 13 of the 2022 Bendigo Bank Western Border Netball Association season.

The Demons will need to come out of the blocks firing and limiting the supply to Caroline Wakefield will be the number one priority, but leaving Macey Griffith to roam free is also dangerous.

Griffth – along with Ash Kalantarian and Brianna Walters – is safe with ball in hand and the likes of Tully McShane, Ruby Richter, Megan Reid and Imogen Walker will need to pressure the North feeders to give their defensive line of Ellie Bouchier and Grace Edwards a chance to turn the ball over.

The Tigers have had a season where player availability through injury, illness and other commitments has handicapped their chance to build team chemistry, but Mel Renko returning will be a key in for the side.

The uncertainty surrounding just who will hit the court for North makes tipping a winner an even tougher game, but Wakefield will no doubt prove to be the difference in a narrow win for the Tigers.

MILLICENT V WEST GAMBIER

It is a top of the table clash that will ultimately see one side elevate themselves to premiership favourite.

Both Millicent and West Gambier have been scoring at will and it will come down to the side that can apply the most defensive pressure and limit those scoring opportunities.

Tabatha Sanderson will return to the court for the Saints and in her absence, Demi Verbena has continued to dominate at goal attack as she leads the Millicent frontline.

The scoring potential at the other end has been even greater with Sarah Ritter scoring 50-plus goals every week and Lisa McGregor using her smarts and leadership to run the West attack line.

The mid courts are an intriguing contrast with an experienced Saints taking on the speed and athleticism of the young Roos mid court.

Both defensive lines will be looking for the respective mid courts to slow the passage of the ball and pressure the delivery into the shooting circle.

Milicent’s Hannah Nitschke and Portia McRae are forming a tough defensive duo and the McRae-Ritter battle will be one for the ages.

At the other end, Amy Cram continues to be one of the smartest defenders in the competition and her combination with Jade Ritter is also developing nicely and they have an uncanny ability to shut down time and space on opposition frontlines.

It looms as a tough goal for goal high scoring battle with the Roos to just edge out the Saints for the second time this season.

EAST GAMBIER V CASTERTON SANDFORD

East Gambier was on fire last weekend, coming out of the blocks like a team possessed, a tough road trip looms for Casterton Sandford.

The Cats will need the likes of Scarlett and Ebany Jarrad and Caeleigh Humphries to try and slow the ball movement of the Bulldogs, which was at its slick best last weekend.

East should take the points, but after last week’s improved performance the Cats will have their own goals in mind to continue their 2022 development.

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