Western Border netball heats up

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Western Border netball heats up

South Gambier v Casterton Sandford

One of the keys to this match will be how the four South Gambier players who represented Western Border at the weekend’s SA Country Championships have pulled up after the gruelling weekend.

Casterton Sandford also has two players in that boat.

South arguably has a more settled line-up with Gracie Dalton and Alyssa Duncan starting to form a strong combination in goals, while the Cats have still been experimenting in that space, although Ivy Lane and Chelsey Galpin look set to perhaps get a long run in those roles.

Defensively, South relies on the athletic duo of Sophie Wight and Ellie Bouchier and they will be looking to create plenty of turnover ball and deny the young Cats shooting combination time and space.

Of course the Cats defenders, Ebany Jarrad and Caeleigh Humphries, will be looking to do the same to Duncan and Dalton, with Madalene Cleary also an option in that defensive circle if required.

Cleary will no doubt start in the mid court to control the game for the Cats and her battle with Megan Reid will be a pivotal, and in the end it will be the team that looks after the ball and limits its errors in transition that will take the points.

South won the first encounter and should be able to replicate that victory on the Demons home court.

Millicent v North Gambier

North Gambier announced its new look 2023 line-up when last the Tigers took on Millicent and grabbed a narrow victory.

It sees this rematch as the clear match of the round and every match up looms large.

Mikaila Pitt will no doubt get first crack and limiting the influence of Saints shooter Tabatha Sanderson, relying somewhat on the pressure on delivery out in front of her, and North has the luxury of Stella Mobbs in the wings if required with her superior height.

Arguably even more important will be the battle between Tigers defender Noni McConnell and Saints goal attack Demi Verbena.

Verbena is the Saints playmaker and does plenty of scoreboard damage but she will earn every possession against the tight checking McConnell and the final result will rest heavily on this match up.

The mid courts for both sides have a blend of experience and youth and both will be looking to move the ball quickly to take advantage of their respective tall shooters.

Mel Renko leads the Tigers mid court wit the class of Brianna Walters and her speed onto the circle, with Lauran Norman bringing the athleticism and ability to create turnover ball.

Lisa Duldig is the leader of the Saints mid court, working in tandem at the defensive end with Kimmi Tincknell, who could also earn a stint in the defensive circle, with Lillie Paul and Daisy Tunkin bringing the speed and quality delivery.

North recruit Grace Potts has had a stunning start to her time as a Tiger and her combination with young gun Macey Griffith is already looking solid but the Tiges shooters will have to work overtime to get any easy ball in space with Portia McRae, Lauren Van Eeden and Tincknell strong tight checking defenders who contest everything.

Millicent will have analysed the round three loss and will reverse the result in another tight battle.

West Gambier v East Gambier

West Gambier has three players coming off SA Country Championships duty, with East also having one representative, but the Roos will start well and truly favourite,

That being said, East is starting to build but settling the new look line-up has been hampered by played unavailability.

The reigning premiers have looked polished and in-sync in 2023 but no doubt are looking to develop and build and bring increased pressure to their opposition.

The defensive end of West so often sets up their dominant wins with Amy Cram and Jade Ritter making it hard for opposition goalers to find space in range and Zoe Malseed and Tara Bryant placing relentless pressure on the feeders to hopefully draw errors in delivery.

At the other end, the Roos are clinical in their ball movement wit Lisa McGregor controlling the attacking end of the court, working in tandem with Bryant and Mikaela Horrigan to find their star shooter Sarah Ritter, who has named in the SA Country Championships Top 10.

East has a smaller moving goal circle with Renee Henke and Casey Horrigan, and working the angles with Tarsh McCallum and Chloe Perryman, will be the key to their success and McCallum’s pace and smarts and Perryman’s strength in the air will be critical in finding good circle position to deliver to the goalers.

At the other end of the court, Bo Creek and Morgan Amy are an experience defensive duo and they will need the mid court to slow the Roos ball movement to give them a chance to limit the scoring opportunities for McGregor and Ritter.

The Roos should win comfortably.

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