East Gambier v West Gambier
West Gambier overcame missing key players, injured shooter Sarah Ritter and goal keeper Jade Ritter to still get the better of reigning premiers East Gambier in the ninth round of the 2022 Western Border Netball Association season last weekend.
The Bulldogs were still missing Sarah Lock, who is battling a calf strain, and in the tough wintry conditions, the defensive efforts of the Roos were too much to secure a 10 goal victory.
Coming off a victory over Millicent, West was looking to consolidate but trailed by one at the first change after a dominant quarter from Amryn Bosko in the shooting circle.
A perfect shooting quarter from Claire Hunter for West in the second quarter saw scores tied up at the main break.
Then the Roos’ defensive efforts really stepped up, limiting the scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs and a 23-13 second half sealed the deal.
Amy Cram dominated the back half for West with her ability to read the play and shut down time and space for the opposition and she also played a key role in transition with safe ball movement the order of the day in the conditions.
Tara Bryant was also important in both aspects of the game, getting some important turnover touches, as well as running hard in offence to continually present until the best option in the shooting circle opened up.
Hunter was also critical, netting 33 from 37, with two perfect shooting quarters, including the last.
Amryn Bosko was the best for the Bulldogs as she proved to be the focal point in the shooting circle, while Bo Creek kept East in the match with her ability to disrupt defensive West’s attacking forays.
North Gambier v Millicent
North Gambier got a glimpse of the future on Saturday and while the scoreline was lopsided in its clash with Millicent, it gave some of the rising Tiger stars a chance to test themselves against the competition benchmark of the past decade.
Missing experienced stars Caroline Wakefield and Mel Renko and with creative mid courter Ash Kalantarian sidelined it saw Cara Nulty and Elyse Willoughby earn another call up to the top grade, with Lauran Norman adding to her A Grade resume.
It was a tough ask though with a settled Millicent line-up playing four methodical quarters with clinical ball movement and accurate finishing.
Tabatha Sanderson and Demi Verbena were unstoppable in goals, netting 74 from 82, while at the other end, Hannah Nitschke was dominating the defensive end with great support from Portia McRae and Georgia Clarke.
Every time the Saints created a turnover the mid court of Paige Nitschke and Lisa Duldig moved the ball with impressive speed and with Verbena either finding Sanderson in space or finishing herself as they powered to a 34 goal victory.
Brianna Walters showed great composure and leadership in centre for North as she looked to control the match for her young team mates, while Willoughby was tenacious and hard working against a barrage of possession.
South Gambier v Casterton Sandford
In the end, the strong start from South Gambier ensured it took the points over Casterton Sandford at the weekend.
Lara Munro dominated the opening quarter with 14 from 17 as she received great delivery from Alyssa Duncan, Megan Reid and Tully McShane.
While at the other end, Ruby Richter, Ellie Bouchier and Sophie Wight combined to deny the Cats time and space and were it not for their accurate finishing, the score line would have been worse.
While the Demons generated 21 scoring opportunities, the Cats could only muster 10 with Ivy Lane and Madalene Cleary, making eight of those count.
Casterton Sandford clicked into gear in the second, with Cleary finding much more of the ball to score nine goals herself, while the hard running of Scarlett Jarrad and the defensive efforts of Ebany Jarrad started to get the match on an even keel and the nine goal quarter time lead was cut to seven by the half.
The third quarter followed a similar script as both sides were plagued by errors, both decision making and skill, and going into the final quarter, the Cats were still a chance, trailing by eight.
The Demons regrouped, though, again denying scoring opportunities to the Cats frontline, and were it not for the five from five finishing from Lane and Cleary, the score line could have blown out even more.
In the end, with Munro again dominating the circle and McShane continually hitting the circle’s edge and connecting with her shooter, South was able to work its way to a 15-goal final victory margin.