First Nations celebration

UNDER 13A

The 13th round of the 2022 Mount Gambier Netball Association season will live long in the memory of those who ventured out to Olympic Park on Saturday.

The entire association stood as one across all 10 grades for First Nations Round, wearing yellow to raise awareness, celebrate and understand the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the sport and the country.

Another nice touch was the choice of ball with the centre piece of each game a beautifully deigned Gilbert decorated with dot paintings.

There were some important battles in the Under 13A competition where Hobitz and Amazons faced off on Court 4.

With seven rounds still to go there is plenty of time for teams to enhance their case for finals, while at the bottom of the ladder Amazons needed to get off the mark and this fixture presented an attractive opportunity against nearest rival Hobitz.

Although the girls in pink hoped to spring a surprise from the start, it was the blue and red team that came out of the blocks firing and made a statement.

Captain Amber Ferrari was in top form, moving at top speed in the centre bib and gave her goalies plenty of supply.

The likes of Maddy Dennis and Chelsea McElroy made full use of it, quickly establishing a strong advantage on the scoreboard.

Dennis was particularly devastating slotting eight goals of her own, while Amazons only found the net once in the first term.

Despite trailing 13-1 at the first break, the pink team managed to regain some ground in a tighter second quarter where they found their feet.

The Amazons defensive unit of Harper Malthouse and Tayla Little stepped up and silenced their opponents hot form completely.

After scoring 13 goals in the first term, Dennis and McElroy could not even muster half of that amount across the second and third quarters combined.

At the other end of the court Amazons goal attack Maya Harding was busy making her statement on proceedings scoring four goals in the second stanza.

Despite reducing the margin to 10 goals to make the game interesting at the main break, scoring dried up when the players returned.

Only four goals were possible in the third term, but three of them were made at the Hobitz end which allowed them to seal a 26-13 win after an enjoyable game.

In the middle, Amazons’ Isobelle Green showed plenty of resilience holding tough against both Ferrari and Lucy Kerrin and was rewarded with The SE Voice player of the round award for her efforts.

Next door on Court 3 contenders Zodiacs and Saints contested a tight tussle with the former prevailing by just five goals.

A2

It was also a big weekend in the A2 arena with three closely contested matches at Olympic Park on Saturday afternoon.

The feature game was between a Saints side determined to cement its second spot on the ladder and a Vicis team hoping to close the gap to Zodiacs Blue.

Vicis needed to start on the front foot and the shooting combination of Hayley Meyers and captain Fiona Thompson did their best.

But at the other end of the court the Saints were even more prolific with captain Maddie McGrath riding shotgun with Jess Heinrich.

The pair scored almost double that of their opponents in the first term and this set the tone.

Things got even harder for Vicis in the second where it could only manage a solitary goal as the Saints’ defence of Alexandra Lloyd and Casey Hosking stood firm.

With The SE Voice scoreboard reading 25-8, many could see where the result was heading at half time, but Vicis did not give up and enjoyed a more productive second half.

Although Saints still enjoyed more cleaner delivery from the likes of Lizzie McKinnon and Mikeala Copeland, Vicis was also able to ramp up its pressure.

But in the end Saints still found a way to march clear towards a 50-21 win with The SE Voice player of the day McGrath a stand-out.

Third and fourth placed sides Zodiacs Gold and Intruders also faced off at the same time on Court 2 and entertained fans with a thriller to the final minute.

The stage was set by a goal for goal first term were nothing could split both teams before Intruders Gold made their move in the second.

Strong work between Alison Jones and Cherie Foster helped the black and orange outfit edge ahead by three goals at the main break, but the pendulum had not stopped swinging.

Intruders Gold captain Trish Jenkins made a statement, leading from the front and shot 14 goals in a remarkable individual effort in the third term alone.

However, it was not enough to steal the lead and Intruders eventually held on by just three goals.

The Zodiacs club endured a double dose of disappointment with its blue team also going down to top placed Hobitz 57-37.

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