Bulldogs back in the four

MY BALL: East Gambier's Sarah Lock and North Gambier's Lauran Norman contest the ball in the Bulldog's shooting circle. Picture: James Murphy

East Gambier 55 d North Gambier 47

EAST Gambier has resurrected its premiership defence in style after a good win over long-standing rival North Gambier.

Putting their preferred starting seven on court for the first time this season, the Bulldogs did the scoreboard damage in the second and third quarters, while the first and last were goal for goal.

Much of the credit must go to Emily Hunter and Tyne Bosko.

The work they did made life hard for North feeders, restricting the amount of ball which landed in the hands of Caroline Wakefield.

While the Tigers’ star shooter still as accurate as ever, the opportunities were more limited and the scoreboard reflected that.

A stunning performance from North youngster Macey Griffith showed bright signs for the club’s future.

She stepped up her usual shooting output and her 22 goals from 29 attempts showed composure and work rate beyond her years, keeping the Tigers in touch.

It was level at quarter time, before East secured a four-goal half-time lead, extending it to eight by three quarter time before an even final quarter.

Bo Creek and Morgan Amy took advantage of the work from Bosko and Hunter to limit the Tigers’ scoring opportunities.

However, it was at the other end where the Bulldogs started to resemble a final’s contender for the first time in 2022.

Hunter and Tarsh McCallum worked hard to the circle’s edge to find Sarah Lock and Amryn Bosko in good shooting position.

Based on the amount of scoring opportunities the shooting duo were afforded, the scoreline could have been slightly more comfortable after some easy misses in the opening half.

They found their radar in the second half though and netted 26 from 32 to ensure the lead remained in their favour.

Griffith was clearly the Tigers’ best, while defender Mel Renko was also critical with her ability to create turnover ball and her strong driving through the mid-court.

North lost Zahra Crough early and had to reshuffle the line-up moving Lauran Norman to keeper and Ash Kalantarian into wing attack.

Early in the second half Brianna Walters was then forced from the court and Libby Morgan took over the centre bib, while Alice Tentye made her A Grade debut on the defensive wing.

East’s win has edged the Bulldogs back into the top four.

The next two weeks are set to shape the top four as the three teams in contention for fourth place – East, North and South – play each other.