Casterton Sandford v East Gambier
Reigning premiers East Gambier is nothing if not resilient, bouncing back from its round seven loss to South with a comprehensive victory over Casterton Sandford despite having three of its starting seven sidelined at Island Park on Saturday.
With no Amryn Bosko and Sarah Lock, the usual A Reserve shooting combination of Renee Henke and Casey Horrigan took to the A Grade court and got the job done in the Western Border Netball Association clash.
Their opening quarter of 15 from 18 set the tone for the contest as they received good supply from Kate Dempsey and Emily Hunter as the makeshift frontline still found good connection.
Captain Tarsh McCallum was the other usual starter on the sidelines, taking the opportunity to rest her legs ahead of a half marathon the following day.
For the Cats, a lack of supply was the issue despite the hard running of Scarlett Jarrad and by half time it was a 21 goal deficit for the home side.
Casterton Sandford injected the fresh legs of Chloe Foster for the third quarter but it turned out to be the Bulldogs’ best, putting the result beyond doubt.
Henke and Horrigan were unstoppable, netting 20 from 22 to put the result beyond doubt.
Cats defenders Caeleigh Humphries and Ebany Jarrad were certainly doing their best to deny the East shooters time and space but the issue was the ball just kept coming back and the strong driving and creative feeding of Hunter continued to find Henke and Horrigan in good shooting position.
In the end, the 40-goal margin elevated East Gambier back into the top four but it hopes the second half of the season brings some continuity for the reigning premiers, who are yet to put their preferred seven out on court for any length of time in 2022.
South Gambier v North Gambier
In the end, it was all about accuracy in the clash between South Gambier and North Gambier with the Tigers avenging their Anzac Day loss with an eight-goal victory.
Caroline Wakefield netted 44 from 45, mossing only one shot in the early stages of the final quarter, while Macey Griffith showed great composure to convert 18 from 22.
South had the better of the opening quarter with the new look defensive line of Ellie Bouchier and Imogen Walker creating plenty of turnovers.
But some unforced errors in transition and inaccurate finishing in the shooting circle, combined with North’s perfect shooting record for the quarter, saw the home side only one goal clear at the first change.
Lara Munro was forced from the court with the blood rule early in the second, forcing a quick reshuffle for the Demons with Walker moving to goals and Ellie Bouchier combining with mother Brandi to try and rattle the Tigers front line.
It was a goal for goal quarter which set up a tense second half, where Munro returned to the court and Walker moved back to the defensive end.
Little separated the two sides gain as Mel Renko picked up turnover ball time and time again, while Bouchier and Walker also earned some critical touches and at three quarter time, North held a three goal lead.
On Anzac Day it was the Demons who were composed but this time round, it was the Tigers building on their lead.
Renko kept picking up interceptions, Brianna Walters used her speed to great effect and fed Wakefield with precision and with the North shooting duo converting 17 from 19, the scoreboard remained in the Tigers favour.
Munro remains the focal point of the South shooting circle, while Alyssa Duncan was instrumental in transition and setting up the attacking third play.
It sets up an intriguing third round clash between the two, with neither having pout out their preferred seven in either of the two clashes.
West Gambier V Millicent
It was tough, it was physical and it was played in less than ideal conditions in the second half and West Gambier and Millicent now sit at one apiece for the 2022 Western Border Netball Association season after the Roos adapted to the wet and windy conditions to secure a two goal victory.
The Saints got the better of the opening quarter as the mid court of Lisa Duldig, returning from her knee injury and Paige Nitschke were able to get plenty of ball into shooters Tabatha Sanderson and Demi Verbena and with the star duo sharing the shooting responsibilities, the West defensive line seemed unable to shut down the opportunities.
Sanderson netted 11 from 12 and Verbena eight from 11 as Millicent worked its way to a three-goal advantage.
As expected, pre-match, Sarah Ritter was the focal point of the Roos attack and she shot 42 of her side’s 58 goals.
However, she stayed on court despite tweaking a knee, which now looks set to sideline her for at least two or three rounds.
Ritter’s connection with Mikaela Horrigan proved irresistible with Horrigan hitting the circle hard and using her height advantage to great effect and Ritter holding space strongly and finishing accurately.
Millicent had an equally strong connection in their attack end as their trademark speed of ball and precise feeding saw Verbena and Sanderson again with plenty of scoring opportunities and the lead was six by the half.
West clearly went to work in the long break to tweak their defensive effort and it worked, restricting the Saints to 14 attempts for the quarter with a more relentless attention to applying pressure and by the final change the scores were all tied up at 46 apiece.
The final quarter saw the worst of the conditions and it was a tense arm wrestle with both sides having trouble transitioning with any conviction and in the end Ritter’s accuracy proved the difference with her 10 from 11 seeing West over the line by two goals.