South shows growth

WEST GAMBIER V SOUTH GAMBIER

Last time these two teams met, West completely dominated the young Demons from the first whistle and it was a 35-goal margin.

This time round, South Gambier, missing key defender Ellie Bouchier through illness, got off to a better start and while the final margin did top 20 it was a vastly improved performance in round 10 of the 2022 Bendigo Bank Western Border Netball Association season.

It was a six-goal margin at the first change as Sarah Ritter and Lisa McGregor nailed 18 from 23 to set the tone.

While at the other end, some inaccuracy did give Roo’s defenders Jade Ritter and Amy Cram to show their strength on the rebound and create turn over ball.

It was Sarah Ritter’s return from a knee injury and the young shooter did not miss a beat in a strong battle with Demons defender Grace Edwards, who applied good pressure over the shot and rebounded the rare misses to keep South in touch.

West’s mid court, despite the fact it was missing Mikaela Horrigan, showed its trademark slick ball movement, with Anna Bosco fitting in seamlessly at wing attack, while Tara Bryant continued her stellar season of two way running and creative delivery.

The third quarter was a tight affair marred by an ankle injury to Ruby Richter, forcing South to reshuffle with Mykaela Thiele coming onto goal defence, Imogen Walker moving to the attacking wing and Tully McShane taking the defensive wing bib.

Again, though, it was Sarah Ritter taking charge of the contest with her 15 from 16 as West extended its lead to 15.

The strong connection between McGregor, Bryant and Sarah Ritter was again on show in the final quarter, despite the efforts of Edwards and Thiele to try and deny the scoring opportunities and in the end the final margin was 21.

MILLICENT V EAST GAMBIER

East Gambier welcomed back Sarah Lock to the shooting circle at the weekend but the side cannot take a trick and defender Morgan Amy and star mid courter Emily Hunter were unavailable so it might be round 10 but the reigning premiers are still yet to put their preferred starting seven on court.

That being said, East started well against Millicent, with Chloe Perryman taking the defensive bib alongside Bo Creek, and a perfect 11 from 11 from Amryn Bosko, ensuring it was a goal for goal contest with Millicent only one goal clear at the first change.

The second quarter was also a tight affair with both teams looking to work the ball through tough defensive pressure all over the court to find their respective shooters in space.

By the main break, it was a four-goal lead to the home side and they started to take control in the third and with Tabatha Sanderson having her best shooting quarter, netting 11 from 13, the lead was 10 by the final change.

No team is keen on celebrating honourable losses but East would be happy to have matched it so closely with Millicent without Hunter or Amy and keep the damage to a 14-goal margin.

Tarsh McCallum was a standout for the Bulldogs, while Bosko looked to be returning to her best in goals.

The mid court of Lisa Duldig and Georgia Clark were best for the Saints as they worked hard both in transition as well as placing defensive pressure on the Bulldogs feeders.

CASTERTON SANDFORD V NORTH GAMBIER

Another week, another demonstration of outstanding shooting from North Gambier’s Caroline Wakefield against Casterton Sandford.

The star Tigers shooter converted 58 from 61, shooting a perfect 18 from 18 in the second quarter and 16 from 16 in the last.

It was a masterclass that no defensive combination could stop and it made for a tough day out for the Casterton Sandford defensive unit of Ebany Jarrad, Caeleigh Humphries and Tess Marra, who also had a rare sting in goal keeper to try and curb the influence of Wakefield.

At the other end, things were not much easier for the Cats as the defensive unit of the Tigers refused to allow them time and space.

Libby Morgan was relentless at wing defence in her commitment to denying easy access to the circle’s edge and when the ball was turned over, she was a key link player in transition, while Mel Renko and Zahra Crough combined well in the defensive circle to make scoring as difficult as possible.

Ivy Lane, Madalene Cleary and Charlotte Rice worked hard in the shooting circle and while they were not as accurate as Wakefield, they did make the most of their rare opportunities to make sure their team mate’s efforts were reflected on the scoreboard.

Cleary moved to centre for the second half and her leadership through the middle and combination with Scarlett Jarrad gave the Cats some stability, but in the end, the Tigers had too much firepower all over the court and the score line ended up 70-29.

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