Close call for North netballers

GAME CHANGER: North Gambier's Stella Mobbs proved the difference in a match-saving fourth quarter against Casterton Sandford on Saturday. Picture: FILE


AT three quarter time of the clash between Casterton Sandford and North Gambier, the upset of the season looked well and truly on the cards.

Having competed strongly with the Tigers for three quarters, the Cats had set up a four-goal lead by the final change.

However, the move of North’s Stella Mobbs from defence into goal shooter totally changed the complexion of the contest.

Mobbs’ height became a huge factor and the teenage utility netted 16 goals from 19 attempts in a match-winning performance which had the Tigers power to a nine-goal victory.

Last term aside, it was all about the Cats in the first three quarters as goalers Chelsea Hulm and Holly Smith started to really find their mojo as a combination with Hulm doing a mountain of work out front and taking plenty of shots.

The hard running of Indi Longhurst and Madalene Cleary kept finding a way through the Tigers’ defence, while at the other end Caeleigh Humphries anchored the defensive line and was also a key in transition.

North barely resembled the team which totally dominated South Gambier on Anzac Day.

The Cats did not allow them to play with speed in offence and the defensive pressure was not as relentless from the Tigers and Casterton Sandford only succumbed in a frenetic final quarter.

Coach Jodie Humphries would be thrilled to have so much to build on from the first three quarters, while North coach Kaitlin Egan would have some work to do on the training court this week.

North replaced Macey Griffith at three quarter time as the youngster battled a calf strain but other than that both teams emerged unscathed from the entertaining contest.