A wrestle to the end

Great Flinders netball

Ramblers def Eyre United 37-32

TOP placed Ramblers fought off fast finishing Eyre United 37-32 in challenging windy conditions at Ungarra.

Both sides were at full strength with goal shooter Burrows scoring the first two goals for Ramblers.

The Hier twins did well feeding their goalies, who were struggling to adjust to the unpredictable windy conditions, along with Ramblers experienced defenders Lisa Richardson and Wright.

Ramblers centre court players Aimee Pedler in wing attack, McDonald, centre, and Brooke Pedler, wing defence were linking well, regularly creating scoring opportunities to build a six-goal lead at quarter time, 11-5.

In the second quarter Saints’ goal keeper Liddell and goal defence Flavel started having an impact in the defence with their rebounds and intercepts, as did Pedler and Richardson for Ramblers.

Shooter Masson moving out of the circle, opened up space for Saints in attack, while after a quiet start goal attack Mikaela Richardson dominated the shooting for Ramblers.

At half time Ramblers advanced their lead 21-11.

Ramblers rotated Hall for Wright at goal keeper for the second half.

Telfer at wing defence for Saints came into the game taking a number of intercepts. This allowed the Saints to start on fire which saw them score the first four goals for the quarter.

Lisa Richardson and McDonald for Ramblers stepped up and provided a steadying influence midway through the quarter.

However Saints rallied and at three-quarter time the momentum had swung back their way reducing Ramblers lead to five goals, 26-21.

As the weather conditions deteriorated the same could not be said about the quality of play with both teams wrestling for dominance in the final quarter.

M. Richardson, L. Richardson and A. Pedler shone for Ramblers, while Masson was on fire for Saints shooting 11 for the quarter, along with Flavel and Liddell in defence.

It was a tough day at the office for the shooters due to gale force winds as it was for the defenders who regularly had to contest rebounds.

Best for Ramblers were Aimee Pedler who goes under the radar but opens up the court with her passing, Lisa Richardson’s consistency in defence and Mikaela Richardson (20 goals) who lifted as the game progressed.

Saints best were defenders Flavel and Liddell who combined well to repel numerous shots, along with Masson who also lifted as the game progressed shooting 26 goals.

United Yeelanna def Cougars 54-34

Cougars and Yeelanna A grade took to the court for their last minor round match together for the season.

With wild winds and rain threatening, both teams played cautious netball from the first whistle. Yeelanna converted from their first centre pass and quickly capitalised on a turnover from the second.

Tall Yeelanna shooter Cassie Norton provided a good target for her team, while at the other end of the court Cougars’ centre Jess Green was offering well into the ring.

Kate Hancock and Kate Green were a good mid-court match with neither giving an inch.

Despite the hard work and great footwork by young gun D grader Molly Burns in goal keeper and clever work by wing defence Abbi Dahlitz, the patient play by Yeelanna’s Taylor Glover with Sherie Watson’s drive to the circle saw Yeelanna pull away to a lead of 15-7.

Cougars started the second quarter facing the less windy end but a forced turnover off their opening centre pass saw Yeelanna take the ball back to Norton for a goal.

The gusting winds were unforgiving on any loose passes and at times completely changed the direction of the ball during shots for goal.

Tanya Habner was quick to pick up a loose ball for her team and with the intensity of the game increasing, Yeelanna looked more settled.

A great defensive tip by Glover coupled with Norton’s rebounding domination saw the momentum shift Yeelanna’s way.

Cougars’ strong all-rounder Jess Green continued to have good feeding drive, and shooter Lisa Smith started to look more comfortable reading the wind and working the back line.

However, at the half time break, Yeelanna had maintained their lead with the scores 28-15. 

An early spectacular pass around the pole in the goal circle from Lisa Smith to Amy Green saw the third quarter start with a great goal for Cougars.

Yeelanna soon replied with a long bomb into Cassie from the centre third.

Amazingly the wind intensity picked up further, impacting every floating pass and disrupting both teams’ normal fast flowing game.

Great defensive pressure from Yeelanna’s Chelsea Mickan and Tanya Habner forced several turnovers, with Sarah Holderness in goal attack playing a strong feeding goalie role.

Burns and Zoey Phelps continued to apply great defensive pressure for Cougars, and Amy Green shot a goal seconds before time was called to end the quarter but Yeelanna continued to lead the score line 37-22.

The final quarter saw Yeelanna play patient netball, with their attacking line making it look easy as they worked it down the court to be rewarded by Norton’s accurate shooting.

Cougars kept their cool and worked hard down the length of the court, quick to pick up any loose balls and backing each other with every pass but the bird had flown.

Jessica Green, Kate Green and Lisa Smith were best for Cougars, with Cassie Norton, Kate Hancock and Sherie Watson very strong for Yeelanna.