WEST GAMBIER 45 d EAST GAMBIER 36
WEST Gambier was out to make a statement on the weekend and ensure its preparation for the upcoming Western Border netball finals was perfect.
The Roos achieved both its goals in style when it faced fellow premiership contender East Gambier at Malseed Park for the final minor round.
A strong opening half sealed the win over a lacklustre and at times undisciplined Bulldogs.
At the main break the margin was 25-12, which set up West’s eventual nine-goal victory, with the 13-3 goal second quarter where the damage was done.
Like so many of the Roos’ wins have been this season, Saturday’s triumph was built on relentless defensive pressure, where Maddy Teakle, Amy Cram, Carly Trevilyan and Emily Hunter worked tirelessly as a unit to deny any time and space for the usually fluent East attack.
Even the deflections ended up in West’s hands as it continually created turnover ball for its goalers, led by a stellar performance from coach Lisa McGregor.
Trevilyan was also a key in transition for the Roos and a credit to her was the need for East to shake up their front half, injecting youngster Kate Dempsey into the contest at half time on the attacking wing.
The Bulldogs would be pleased they were able to win the second half, but also understand the damage had been done and they made limited inroads.
Tenille Gray showed good tenacity to come out firing after half time, piling on 12 goals in the third quarter, while the hard running of Tarsh McCallum was one of the only other positives for the team.
Tyne Bosko can also hold her head high.
The wing defender had several critical touches on the outside of the circle and she drove hard through the mid-court to be a key link player.
The Roos now enter the second semi-final against reigning premier Millicent full of confidence after the strong four-quarter performance.
On the other hand, the Bulldogs would have preferred a much better showing, but will no doubt shake it off and work hard on the training court to iron out the wrinkles ahead of their knockout semi-final against North Gambier.
MILLICENT 62 d NORTH GAMBIER 43
IT was a 19-goal loss, but it was by far North Gambier’s best performance for the season against reigning premier Millicent.
The result will certainly give the Tigers some level of confidence heading into their knockout semi-final with East Gambier this weekend.
North were down by 10 goals at the main break, but a 17-8 goal third quarter blew the game open as the Saints flexed their muscles.
The Tigers did manage to break even in the final quarter which saw 16 goals apiece and they will take that momentum into the clash with the Bulldogs.
The first quarter saw the worst of the windy conditions and there were certainly more misses on the Millicent scoresheet than usual, allowing Maddie Whaites and Noni McConnell to create some turnover through rebounds.
Missing Ellen Brown from her usual wing defence role, the Tigers had Claire Day in the role and she slotted into the defensive unit well as North trailed by only five at the first change.
Millicent also won the second quarter by five goals as the reigning champions injected Lucy Denton into the wing defence role to give Hannah Nitschke a break.
The third quarter saw the Saints again experiment with their line-up – Lucy Denton moving into centre, Lisa Duldig to wing defence, Hannah Nitschke to goal defence and Madi Haggett earned a break.
While the defensive efforts from Millicent was outstanding for the quarter, it was the attack line which started to find ball movement easier and was able to make sure the turnover ball counted on the scoreboard.
A heavy fall from Paige Nitschke saw the Saints again reshuffle the line-up with the starting wing attack forced from the court with blood.
However, the fact it was Millicent’s best quarter and its most disrupted is a testament to its ability to adjust to all circumstances.
As happy as North would be with the 16-all final quarter, the Saints would not be satisfied and there will no doubt be some strong work done on the training court this week.
North injected Tenille Barry into the contest at wing defence, no doubt hoping her pace would have an impact and in the end, it was the Tigers best quarter.
Alisha Bryan and Sarah Nulty continue to look a solid shooting combination, while Ash Kalantarian was the main feeder, hitting the circle hard and safe with ball in hand.
Hayley Dunn and Hannah Nitschke were best for the Saints as they continue their consistent seasons.
CASTERTON SANDFORD 63 d SOUTH GAMBIER 48
THE damage was done early at Island Park as Casterton Sandford jumped out of the blocks quickly and then refused to give up its hard-earned lead.
A seven-goal quarter-time advantage was reflective of the Cats’ dominance in the clash.
It was a buffer built on defence with Madalene Cleary and Marlee Gartlan smothering the Demons’ forward line – a job made easier by the hard work out front from Sharana Fidler and Scarlett Jarrad.
The high error count from South also proved fatal for the young side.
Gartlan’s work over the shot and strong rebounding was a feature for the victors, while Cleary anticipated every delivery into the circle and continually disrupted the feed.
At the other end, the Demons could not slow the scoring rate of the Cats as Jarrad and Gaby Tomkins found the circle’s edge with ease and fed the ball to the accurate Tori Perry and Christine Harris.
Things did not get much better in the second quarter as Cleary again picked up plenty of turnover ball and Harris and Perry finished well at the other end.
At half time, the Cats moved Fidler to goal keeper and Gabby Sullivan entered the clash at wing defence, while the Demons swapped goalers Alyssa Duncan and Imogen walker, as they did with some success in the previous round against East.
But the Cats did not miss a beat and Fidler combined well with Cleary in the defensive circle as the duo continued to disrupt the Demons.
Tomkins and Jarrad continued to drive hard, while Harris finished off what has been a strong month from the Cats coach with another stellar shooting performance.
Tomkins was forced from the court in the last term as youngster Chelsey Galpin was given another taste of life in the top grade, while Audine Bryant entered the clash in the middle for South.
While the Demons worked their way back to a single-figure deficit at one stage, the Cats rallied to claim a deserved 15-goal win to end their season on a high.