North Gambier v Millicent
The match of the ninth round in Western Border netball sees North Gambier hosting Millicent.
The Tigers look to build on their victory over South Gambier and the Saints looking to rebound from a narrow loss to West Gambier.
North’s Caroline Wakefield and Macey Griffith were outstanding, finding plenty of ball and finishing accurately and they will need to be prolific again when they take on Portia McRae and Hannah Nitschke.
At the other end, Mel Renko was the standout at goal defence for North Gambier at the weekend and her battle with Demi Verbena, who feeds Tabatha Sanderson so well, will be the key match up of the clash.
The mid courts are all about speed and the defensive efforts will decide who wins this battle.
Millicent rarely drop two in a row and despite the fact North always seems to challenge the Saints, they may have to settle for a narrow loss.
South Gambier v Casterton Sandford
Having let last weekend’s clash with North Gambier slip, the Demons will be looking to stay in touch with the top four with a win over Casterton Sandford this weekend.
South will welcome Grace Edwards back to the defensive circle and with Ellie Bouchier in good form, it will make for a tough afternoon for the Madalene Cleary-led Cats shooting combination.
At the other end of the court, the clash with Alyssa Duncan, who sets up much of South’s attacking play and athletic defender Caeleigh Humphries will be one of the most pivotal clashes of the contest, while the job of containing star shooter Lara Munro will fall top Charlotte Rice or Ebany Jarrad and the Cats will remember well Munro’s stunning second half last time the two met when she pulled the game out of the fire for the Demons.
On their home court, the Demons should prevail.
East Gambier v West Gambier
West Gambier will be full of confidence after a nail-biting win over Millicent and despite missing Sarah Ritter with a knee injury should be able to take the victory over reigning premiers East Gambier.
West has been a settled line-up for most of the season and will insert Claire Hunter into the shooting role, while East has been anything but settled.
With the exception of Emily Hunter and Morgan Amy, the Bulldogs have resembled a patchwork quilt as they have had to cover injury, player unavailability and COVID absences.
With Sarah Lock still under an injury cloud, it is unlikely they will have their preferred starting seven again this weekend.
This has affected East’s ability to find life easy at the attacking end of the court, where Jade Ritter and Amy Cram will be looking to create turnovers and use the speed of Tara Bryant, Zoe Malseed and Mikaela Horrigan to transition.
West should win comfortably as East looks to hang onto fourth in the hope they can come home with a wet sail.