Tight games in round six of Western Border netball

East V West Gambier Football & Netball TBW Newsgroup
TOO STRONG: West Gambier's Amy Cram takes possession in front of East Gambier's Sara Smith during the Roos win over the Bulldogs in round six of Western Border netball on Saturday. Picture: FRANK MONGER

East V West Gambier Football & Netball TBW Newsgroup
TOO STRONG: West Gambier’s Amy Cram takes possession in front of East Gambier’s Sara Smith during the Roos win over the Bulldogs in round six of Western Border netball on Saturday. Picture: FRANK MONGER

WEST GAMBIER 55 d EAST GAMBIER 46

IT was expected to be a tight contest when East Gambier hosted West Gambier in round six of Western Border netball and that is how it panned out.

The Roos claimed the points in the end, but not without a fight.

It was an even opening quarter, with neither side able to utilise their favoured speed of ball courtesy of the tenacious defence from both line-ups.

However, a couple of extra converted turnovers by the Roos saw them enjoy a three-goal lead at the first break.

Both sides struggled to hit the circle’s edge in the opening quarter, but fortunately when the goalers were given a shooting opportunity they took it.

Tenille Gray and Brittany Ross converted at 100pc, while Tahlia Earl overcame a nervous start to finish the quarter strongly, with her shooting partner, Lisa McGregor also not recording a miss.

The second quarter followed a similar script as both sides fell into a better rhythm offensively and only a few extra turnovers from Amy Cram and Maddy Teakle saw West extend its lead to seven by the main break.

West came out of the half-time break firing and built the lead to 13 goals in the blink of an eye, but then the Roos lost concentration and East blasted its way back and reduced the margin to four.

The Bulldogs switched up their defensive combination for that quarter, with Morgan Amy moving back to keeper and Jacinta Clark out to goal defence.

The arm wrestle looked set to continue, but West was keen to assert its authority again and in the end the final margin was nine.

Gray was a stand out for East, shooting 36 of East’s 46 goals, although in fairness to her opponent, Cram still made the star goaler work for her possessions.

Gray thrived on the challenge and with the help of the hard-working Tarsh McCallum and Sara Smith, she was able to win plenty of ball.

West debuted Jordan Freeman on the defensive wing and the teenager acquitted herself well, picking up a couple of interceptions and providing some good drive through the mid court.

At the other end, the strong driving of Carlee Ransom saw her emerge as the Roos key feeder as she also made sure each time she delivered the ball it was safe and found her goalers in space.

After a slowish start to the season, East would have hoped for a better showing, but West is clearly the second best team in the competition and the Bulldogs will continue to develop their combination and look to continue to bridge the gap.

CASTERTON SANDFORD 65 d SOUTH GAMBIER 54

CASTERTON Sandford turned the tables on South Gambier in round six of Western Border netball on Saturday, securing an 11-goal victory over an undermanned Demons.

The first three quarters saw an arm wrestle, with both sides having to work hard to get the ball into a good shooting position.

The Cats always seemed to have the edge, albeit slight.

However, if not for the 100pc shooting of South’s Imogen Walker, who did a power of work at goal attack in the opening stanza, the scoreline might not have been as close as three.

Accuracy was a feature from both shooting combinations in the second quarter as the Demons converted 15 from 17 and Tori Perry and Christine Harris netted 17 from 21 for the Cats.

The hard running of Gaby Tomkins was a huge factor in the opening half as she used her pace to great effect and fed the ball with precision, while Madalene Cleary was as reliable as ever through the mid court.

For the Demons, the injection of Isabel Redemski to wing attack at the first change reaped rewards as her ability to find the circle’s edge was pivotal in getting the ball into her goalers.

The Cats moved the lead out to as many as seven during the quarter, before the Demons got it back to a goal-for-goal game on level terms.

But a late surge from the Cats, as the Demons fell off in terms of defensive pressure, saw the lead still at five at the final change.

Alyce Pearce-Raisin, who created plenty of turnover ball for the entire match, initiated most of the Demons’ comeback, while Riley Buckingham picked up her game to win the ball back and make life tougher for the previously dominant Tomkins.

But the Demons just could not mount a challenge in the last term as the Cats’ confidence grew.

It was all about supply in the final stanza and even though Pearce-Raisin and Tori McIntyre were able to pick up some interceptions and rebounds, the Demons started to make too many errors in transition.

The Cats had 25 scoring attempts to the Demons’ 20 which was always going to make bridging the gap difficult.

Perry and Harris were the Cats’ best and their accuracy was pivotal in the final wash up, while Walker and Pearce-Raisin were the best of the Demons.