EAST GAMBIER v NORTH GAMBIER
EAST Gambier enters this weekend’s Western Border netball clash with North Gambier buoyed by a strong – albeit inconsistent – performance against Millicent.
Was it not for a sub-standard third quarter, where they went 11 goals down, the Bulldogs were right in the hunt and they will hope a more consistent performance this weekend will see them take the points against North Gambier.
For the second time this season the Tigers struggled to shake off a determined South Gambier, but they did claim the win and there were positives.
That included the form of Sarah Nulty and Ellen Brown, with the two promoted teenagers showing promise.
With the Pioneers on the road this weekend, that might mean Nulty is unavailable, which would be a shame as she showed she fits in well in senior company.
Brown’s pace and accurate feeding is damaging and her battle with wing defender Tyne Bosko will be one of the highlights of the match.
Bosko has been one of the Bulldogs’ most consistent performers alongside Tarsh McCallum and Tenille Gray.
She will need to be at her best to make life tough for the unsettled North forward line.
Gray looms large as the biggest issue for the Tigers, with coach Noni McConnell having first crack at the star goaler.
Maddie Whaites, who has been the pick of the Tigers in 2019, will also need to pay close attention to Brittany Ross, who comes off one of her stronger performances since joining the Bulldogs.
Sara Smith faces a huge challenge when she matches up on Mel Renko, but the youngster is composed and hard working and can still play a role.
The Alisha Bryan-Jacinta Clark match up will also be critical, especially if Nulty is away, with Bryan always dangerous with her work on the hold and accuracy on the finish.
Morgan Amy also looms large, especially if she brings her form from the SA Country Championships.
If she can create enough turnover ball and get the better of the rebounding duel she will ensure East has enough possession to win the game.
Just the unsettled nature of the Tigers makes it hard to mount a case for them to upset the Bulldogs and East will look to continue to build and perhaps challenge West for a top two finish.
CASTERTON SANDFORD v MILLICENT
ROUND eight of Western Border netball will throw up a huge challenge for Casterton Sandford.
The Cats enjoyed a strong second half of netball against West Gambier on the weekend, but face a step up in class when taking on Millicent down at Island Park on tomorrow.
The reigning premiers have basically been untroubled and it is hard to see that line-up not doing the job against the
While Scarlett Jarrad, Madalene Cleary and Christine Harris have been consistent performers for the Cats, the issue is they face a line-up with no weaknesses.
The senior group of Donna Denton, Hayley Dunn, Lisa Duldig and Demi Verbena are all at the peak of their powers, while the juniors are also in impressive form.
Hannah Nitschke comes off a superb performance at both wing defence and goal defence against East Gambier, Paige Nitschke has looked equally at home on the attacking wing or the shooting circle, Madi Haggett has formed a good understanding with Dunn and Lucy Denton can pinch hit at any role in the midcourt.
Marlee Gartlan and Sharna Fidler will rely on their midcourt to slow the ball movement of the Saints, or they will have little chance to deny Denton and Verbena scoring opportunities.
At the other end, patience and accuracy on the feed will be the name of the game.
Gaby Tomkins and Gabby Sullivan will need to hit the circle hard to find good feeding position and Harris and Tori Perry will need to work the angles and keep the ball out of the air if they are to deny Dunn and Haggett a chance to create turnover ball.
It will no doubt be a case of setting achievable goals and minimising the scoreboard damage for the Cats, but the Saints should march on undefeated.
SOUTH GAMBIER v WEST GAMBIER
WEST Gambier will look for an even more polished performance this weekend when they head to Blue Lake Sports Park to take on South Gambier.
The Roos were undermanned, but still claimed the points against the always tenacious Casterton Sandford last week.
The Demons challenged North Gambier in round seven, but again too many errors hurt the young side and they will also be forced to field another untried combination.
Audine Bryant, Tara Bryant and Alyssa Duncan are not available, while Alyce Pearce-Raisin, who comes off a superb performance against the Tigers, is still battling a calf strain sustained late in that match.
Much will depend on Imogen Walker as the focal point of the attack line and shooting circle, while Tori McIntyre will need to anchor the defensive end.
Her battle with West’s Tahlia Earl will be one of the critical match ups of the day.
Earl comes off a strong performance against the Cats and if she can also finish accurately she is always a dangerous player.
If Pearce-Raisin cannot take on Lisa McGregor it will make life tough for the Demons, as she has the pace and athleticism to run with the star Roo goaler.
Emily Hunter is also an issue for the Demons with her hard drive and strong defensive mindset.
Claudia Edmonds is possibly best suited to take on that role, assuming Audine Bryant is definitely unavailable.
Amy Cram will no doubt match up on Walker and that will be an intriguing battle, with the smart defender arguably best on court the last time the two sides met.
South has the likes of Ella McIntyre, Jess Earle, Isabel Redemski and Brandi Bouchier to call on to play a role, but it has become a juggling act this deep in the season as those players will be key in the club’s A Reserve campaign, so can only play limited time in the top grade.
West should be able to get the job done with ease by the final whistle.