East prevails in closest netball match

AIRBORNE: East Gambier's Bo Creek takes a pass mid-air. Picture: JAMES MURPHY


THE clash between East Gambier and Casterton Sandford was the closest match of the round as neither side could assert any dominance in the contest.

East coach Malinda Foster made the most of her opportunities in the opening quarter, netting 10 from 11 as East worked its way to a four-goal quarter-time lead.

It was a game where the defensive pressure was relentless from both sides and Bo Creek and Morgan Amy certainly stifled the Cats goalers in the opening stanza, creating just enough turnover ball to see the Bulldogs secure that narrow lead.

The Cats found some better mojo in attack during the second quarter and with Chelsea Hulm rewarding her team mates with seven from eight the margin was trimmed to only three at the main break.

The defensive end of the Casterton Sandford line-up also had an improved second quarter as Caeleigh Humphries, Chloe Finnigan and Ebany Jarrad made more difficult for East to find its goalers in space.

The third quarter was all about Foster again as she became the dominant goaler on court, converting 11 of her 12 attempts, including a few of her trademark long-range bombs.

Hulm continued to work hard and find plenty of the ball, while Phoebe Carlin was added to the contest during that quarter to bring some fresh legs and strong defensive traits to the centre position.

It was a five-goal lead going into the last and in a scrappy final quarter both sides experimented with their line-ups to try and gain the upper hand.

Creek continued to find some important defensive touches and her work over the shot and rebounding strength ensured East maintained their buffer.

A reconfigured Cats defensive line also produced turnovers but not all ended up on the scoreboard allowing East to finish with a six-goal victory.

Creek and the hard-running Casey Horrigan were best for East, while Jarrad applied defensive pressure all day and Hulm did a mountain of work at goal attack for the Cats.