Grand final rivals face off

Western Border Netball round preview

East Gambier v Millicent

It is the 2021 grand final revisited but both sides look very different.

The reigning premiers have lost Tenille Gray and Lisa Fyfe, while Millicent no longer has the services of Lucy Denton and Lisa Duldig is sidelined with injury.

It means both sides are looking to build chemistry again.

Sarah Lock and Amryn Bosko will only get better as a shooting duo for East and they will need to find a way through the tough defensive line of Portia McRae, Georgia Clarke and Hannah Nitschke.

At the other end, East’s Bo Creek and Morgan Amy are also looking to find their synergy in the defensive circle and will rely on the pressure out front from Tyne Bosko, who has arguably been the best of the Bulldogs this season.

The work rate of Tarsh McCallum will test the Saints defenders as she continually presents to give her goalers time to find good space in range and her combination with Hunter through the mid court is arguably the best in the competition.

The bottom line is, Millicent is undefeated and East has split its opening rounds and the Saints have the edge at this early stage of 2022.

South Gambier v West Gambier

Consecutive victories are new for South Gambier and they are now coming up against the second ranked Roos, which will test the Demons improvement.

West Gambier had an up and down contest with East before securing a comfortable victory but consistency has been an issue in the early going.

The Roos have had strong starts in the opening rounds, so South will need to be ready from the first whistle and not let West build up a buffer.

It looms as the first week the Demons new defensive line of Grace Edwards and Ellie Bouchier will team up and they will need to be on song as the West shooting combination of Lisa McGregor and Sarah Ritter are as formidable as they come.

At the other end, Jade Ritter and Amy Cram will be tested by Lara Munro after she shot 21 straight in the third quarter on Saturday.

West has rightly been crowned as the early season premiership contender and should rack up its fourth win for 2022 but South needs to rise to this challenge.

North Gambier v Casterton Sandford

After challenging Millicent strongly for the first three quarters, North Gambier will be looking to extend that to a four-quarter performance and claim the premiership points when it hosts Casterton Sandford this weekend.

The Cats are also coming off a promising first half against South Gambier and will also be on the hunt for a more consistent four quarter effort.

Cats coach Jodie Humphries would also have everything crossed that star mid courter Scarlett Jarrad, whose game is built on applying relentless pressure to her opponent, will have recovered from her injury and able to lead the team.

Given the North attack line includes Brianna Walters, Ash Kalantarian and Macey Griffith, the Cats defenders will not be able to give them an inch as all three are all class with ball in hand and just do not make too many errors.

The Cats attack line was more organised at the weekend with Madalene Cleary under the post but they will need to be patient with ball in hand, especially with Mel Renko crating plenty of turnover ball in the opening four rounds.

The Tigers should get back on the winners list.

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