Fast-starting Cats enjoy winning feeling with second win of season

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Fast-starting Cats enjoy winning feeling with second win of season

Casterton Sandford v East Gambier

Having broken their three season drought in round five, Casterton Sandford was not done with, securing a 14 goal victory over East Gambier at Island Park at the weekend.

It all came down to the start, with the Cats scoring the first 13 goals of the contest.

It proved to be the defining time of the game with East unable to reel in the deficit, getting as close as seven goals but no closer through the contest.

The Cats led by eight at quarter time, 11 at the half and went into the final quarter 12 goals clear.

Determined to finish strongly, the Cats also won the last to secure the 49-35 victory.

It was all about supply in the first quarter with the Cats generating 19 scoring shots to 10 as they dominated in defence and linked seamlessly in transition to find Chelsea Hulm and Holly Smith, who shot a perfect eight straight, in good shooting position.

Madaline Patton took the wing attack bib for her first start of the season and teamed well with Madalene Cleary to continually link the defensive line with the on-fire shooters.

Smith continued her stellar shooting in the second and third, missing only one goal from her 16 attempts and if nothing else, the match showed just how important Bo Creek is to the Bulldogs line-up and her absence was glaring.

It forced a reshuffle of what has been a strong defensive line for East with Morgan Amy moving back into the defensive circle alongside Sharna McKinnon, with Indi Dwyer slotting onto the defensive wing.

It was all about a lack of scoring opportunities for East as the Cats were relentless with their defensive pressure with Cleary working in tandem with Ebany Jarrad, Chloe Finnigan and Caeleigh Humphries to deny the East frontline any time and space and that pressure also saw a slight drop in the usually impressive accuracy from the East goalers.

In a potentially good sign for the Bulldogs, Tarsh McCallum returned to the court at wing defence in the second half but how often she will suit up is still unclear.

Smith’s shooting performance was made possible through the hard running of Cleary, while Humphries continues to star in the defensive circle.

Malinda Foster and Amy were best for East.

South Gambier v North Gambier

It was a game to forget for South Gambier at the weekend with North Gambier dominating every quarter to secure an impressive 50 goal victory.

It was a story of supply as North not only generated 96 scoring opportunities, but all three players who took on a shooting role finished with great accuracy.

Kelly Lockwood recorded only four misses, including a perfect eight from eight in the final quarter, while Macey Griffith only missed four as well and Mischa Human proved to be a strong target at the post netting 32 from 38 in another stunning performance.

In contrast, South was only able to generate 50 scoring shots, so it was always going to be an uphill battle to be competitive.

Mel Renko at wing defence and Brianna Walters who ran both centre and wing attack, dominated the mid court with their hard running and willingness to work hard with and without the ball, while the South frontline also found it hard to find a way through Lauran Norman, Stella Mobbs and Ava Collins, who all took a role in the defensive circle for North.

North got the better of every quarter, leading by 11 at the first change, 27 at half time, 35 at the final change and then finishing with an 82-32 scoreline.

North’s ball movement was electric and South had no answers as Walters and Kaitlin Egan continually found the circle’s edge, finding Lockwood, Griffith and Human in space time and time again.

In contrast, South was unable to link up with any efficiency courtesy of an all court defensive effort from the Tigers that was relentless for four quarters.

Circle defender Ellie Bouchier has been a stand out for the Demons all season and was again South’s best, while Gracie Dalton battled hard in goals.

West Gambier v Millicent

West Gambier’s unbeaten start to 2024 continued at the weekend with an eight goal victory over Millicent at Malseed Park.

West shooter Sarah Ritter stamped her authority on the contest early with 12 from 13 in the opening quarter, helping the Roos to a four goal quarter time lead.

Things tightened up in the second as the Saints stepped up their defensive intensity to deny West the same seamless ball movement they enjoyed in the opening quarter, and the improved performance at both ends of the court ensured the lead remained four at the main break.

The third quarter followed a similar script, with Ritter again dominant with her 14 from 15, while the Saints shooting combination of Nikeisha Facey and Edie Easterby combined for 15 from 17 in their best quarter for the match.

The final quarter was also an arm wrestle but West made sure they did not lose a quarter and the final margin for the match sat at eight.

Chelsea Tremelling continued to be a revelation on the defensive wing for West with her speed and vertical leap, while Ritter just scored at will, receiving great service from Lisa McGregor, Jess Holmes and Tara Bryant.

Millicent has certainly found another string to Easterby’s bow and her performances in the shooting circle continued to impress – she shot a perfect seven from seven in the opening quarter and finished the match with 23 from 27, including a perfect third quarter as well.

At the other end of the court, Lauren Van Eeden was as reliable as ever with her tight checking, work over the shot and ability to be a key in transition as well.

Tremelling and Ritter were named best for West.

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