Ramblers defeat Elliston Districts by one in prelim thriller

CONTEST: Elliston Districts' Nikki Schubert and Kelsey Hull contest the ball against Ramblers' Abby-Lee Burrows. Photo: Di Penna

CONTEST: Elliston Districts' Nikki Schubert and Kelsey Hull contest the ball against Ramblers' Abby-Lee Burrows. Photo: Di Penna

GREAT FLINDERS NETBALL

A GRADE PRELIMINARY

Ramblers def Elliston Districts 36-35

Ramblers got off to a great start with a three-goal run before Elliston Districts converted their first. The Rambler goalies, Keeley Mason and Matilda Crettenden moved to create clear pathways for the ball to be delivered to them in their circle.

Great rebounds allowed them consistent scoring opportunities. Elliston Districts centre court of Charlee Murnane and Larina Hebberman found it hard to find space against Ramblers' Sydney Claughton and Lily Nettle.

Tight defence by Ramblers created several turnovers with tight marking by Abby-Lee Burrows at goalkeeper. Toward the end of the quarter Elliston Districts work rate and timing improved and the score difference was four in favour of Ramblers 13-9.

Elliston Districts settled and reduced the deficit to within one halfway through the quarter. Elliston Districts' goalies Courtney Hull and Natasha Paul used short sharp movement to find some distance from the tight marking Ramblers defenders.

The centre court battle evened out and the goalies at both ends had fluctuating results with the swirling conditions. A 19-all score was a delicious end to the first half.

Ava Pedler shone in the third quarter at wing attack for Ramblers, providing strong drives and delivery into her goalies, combining well with Lily Nettle at centre. Ramblers made the most of these opportunities to gain a lead of five goals, part way through.

The Magpies tenacious one on one defence combined with some errors by Elliston Districts allowed Ramblers to slowly extend the lead, 33-23 at the quarters end.

Ramblers attack line continued to be hard to handle and Keeley Mason at goal shooter was a formidable target for them. The Elliston Districts goalies found it hard to score and the ball travelled to the opposite end several times early in the quarter.

As the quarter progressed Elliston Districts managed to inch closer despite significant full court defensive pressure from Ramblers. Ramblers had heart stopping moments in the last seconds of the game as Elliston Districts had a shot for goal to even the score, but when it did not drop, Ramblers had done just enough to win by one.

Final score 36-35. Best on court for Ramblers was young Ava Pedler and Larina Hebberman being Elliston Districts best.

A RESERVES PRELIMINARY FINAL

Elliston Districts def Lock 38-34

Elliston Districts had the first centre pass and goaled through Jess Bascomb followed by a goal to Lock through Kiana Stafford. There were a few early nerves, wayward passes, and mistakes from both sides before Stafford scored a couple of quick goals for Lock.

Tegan Hull steadied for Elliston Districts to get scores on the board for her team. Lots of pressure and fighting for the ball was happening in both goal circles whilst Kristy Newton was controlling play in attack for Elliston Districts.

A miss by Elliston Districts just before the timer went meant Lock tried to rush it down their end but the whistle blew, and Elliston Districts were ahead 10-8.

No changes were made by Lock, but Elliston Districts brought on Tara Brace into wing defence and Kellie Lessue into goalkeeper for a bit more experience. Both teams scored an early goal before Lock lifted a level, to score two goals through Stafford to lock it up at 11-all.

Lessue and Stafford were having a good tussle in Lock's goal circle with both players battling for position, but Lessue took a crucial intercept for Elliston Districts which resulted in a goal to Bascomb. Hull and Bascomb were finding the net accurately with Lock struggling to find an opening in their goal circle, forcing them to shoot long.

Nylah Godwin and Lessue were everywhere for the Roosters. After a lot of hard work in the warm conditions, Kelsey Kay rewarded her team with a goal for Lock. A quick goal on the whistle by Stafford and Lock were only one turnover behind at halftime. Elliston Districts 18, Lock 16.

The wind picked up and the third quarter started in a flurry with Elliston Districts scoring first. Kay was quick to follow suit by scoring for Lock. The blood rule for Haylee Pearce brought Danni Green on for Lock into centre.

Elliston Districts took advantage and their patience paid off, resulting in three goals in succession and taking the lead out to five. A long goal by Stafford kept Lock in touch and with Amii Warner and Ciara Williams turning the ball over in defence, Stafford goaled again thrice closing the gap to only one.

A few missed goals by Elliston Districts and Lock capitalised. Sally Bronca at wing attack for Lock was really getting into the game and making an impact for Lock. Bascomb shot truly for Elliston Districts after Bonnie Cheyne won a crucial 50/50 ball.

Green held time for Lock and Pearce re-entered the game in the centre position for Lock. A footwork error in Elliston Districts' goal circle saw the ball sail down to Lock's goal circle, only to miss and then back down for Hull to score for the Roosters.

Bascomb missed as the whistle blew for three-quarter time with Elliston Districts still up by three, 28-25.

No changes were made by either side, with Lock scoring first. The ball bounced out for Bascomb and Williams rebounded it for Lock. Brace intercepted and Bascomb took her time to score for Elliston Districts.

Lock quickly responded and the crowd really started to get involved knowing there were no second chances. There was a bit of feeling on the court as both sides were wanting a grand final berth and with only three the difference, it was all or nothing.

A great drive by Hull and a pass in by Cheyne saw Elliston Districts goal. Stafford continued to shoot beautifully for Lock, scoring again but this was matched by Bascomb at the other end for Elliston Districts.

An unlucky offside to Newton and a hotly contested ball between Newton and Lock's Pearce ended in a Lock goal but Elliston Districts still held a three-goal buffer. After a turnover by Lock's Megan Hansen was not converted and with injuries to Warner and Bronca, a Lock comeback was becoming increasingly difficult.

Before another passage of play could really begin, the timer was up, and Elliston Districts had won by four. In a hotly contested game where both teams wanted the win, a slightly more experienced Elliston Districts team were victors 38-34. Best for Elliston Districts was Kristy Newton and for Lock was Ciara Williams.

GRAB: Lock's Kiana Stafford secures the ball as Elliston Districts defenders Leah Forrest and Kellie Lessue look on in A1 reserves. Photo: Meryl Weetra

GRAB: Lock's Kiana Stafford secures the ball as Elliston Districts defenders Leah Forrest and Kellie Lessue look on in A1 reserves. Photo: Meryl Weetra

B GRADE PRELIMINARY FINAL

Elliston Districts def Eyre United 36-33

In what was the closest game of the day, Elliston Districts won by three in overtime. There was no doubt a count night was on with tanned legs galore on show by the Eyre United players. Elliston Districts scored first and then Eyre United, but it was disallowed via a held ball.

The Saints managed to turn it back over and scored through Sydnee Lockwood. Miriam Telfer was turning over plenty of balls in defence for Eyre United, sending it back down to their goalies. Neve Tomney at goal attack was moving well for Elliston Districts and found her spot as she shot some nice goals.

Demi Elliott and Marli Ryan were fighting hard in centre for their respective sides. Scores at the first break 8-7 in favour of Elliston Districts. Eyre United scored the first two goals and made Elliston Districts work hard the next three minutes to score their first of the quarter.

Eyre United's goalies of Lockwood and Alyssa Milligan were working hard under pressure from the Elliston Districts defence of Taja Pryor and Hannah Zerk. Elliston Districts stepped up again and brought it back to even before an injury was called.

Elliston Districts' Shawntee Parker come on into wing defence and they snuck out to a three-goal lead through good team play and Tomney not missing much. Half time Elliston Districts up 17-13.

Both teams made plenty of changes at the long break for the second half. Eyre United pegged a couple back and the next five minutes was scrappy as both teams fought for the advantage. Rhianna Carmody was reading the ball well and intercepted to allow the Saints to score.

Nicole Brands for Elliston Districts was finding the ring and shooting well for the Roosters, but Eyre United's Lockwood would not go away and shot beautifully down the other end. Milligan scored for the Saints to even the score again.

Carmody looked to cop a ball to the finger, but bravely fought on to keep her side in it and had the score at 22 all at the last break.

Both teams made changes again and Eyre United came out firing, scoring the first. There was some undisciplined play from both teams as they tried to gain an edge, but the umpires kept it under control. The Saints' Telfer continued to work hard and helped her team get out by three.

Elliston Districts responded and scored through Brands. Eyre United powered on again and scored a quick three in a row before Elliston Districts got another. Brands thought she wanted to go back to goal attack going unnoticed in the centre third for a good 30 seconds - she forgot she was in goal shooter.

Eyre United got one-goal in front again but Elliston Districts couldn't score quickly from their centre pass. The Elliston Districts defenders then got it back to allow Brands to score on the whistle for the first draw of the final's series.

In overtime, Eyre United scored first but Elliston Districts responded quickly. Both sides were fighting hard and no doubt hurting from a full game already but wanting that Grand Final spot.

The crowd surrounded the courts as Eyre United's Lockwood hit the court hard which brought Kimberley Thomas onto the court in goals. The first five minutes of extra time saw Elliston Districts up by three at the change of ends.

Eyre United scored first and kept in the hunt with their defenders working hard. Elliston Districts scored too keeping their team in front.

A valiant effort from both teams as Elliston Districts just got the win taking the game by three. Final score 36-33. Best on court for Elliston Districts was Darcee Azzopardi and Alyssa Milligan for Eyre United.

B RESERVES PRELIMINARY FINAL

Tumby Bay def Lock 47-29

Tumby Bay had the first centre pass and it was a nervous start by their goalies, missing the first couple of shots. The first minutes of the game was characterised by a lot of turnovers and it was a few minutes before Tumby shot the first goal of the game.

Tumby Bay settled and Julia Devine at goal defence was key to bringing the ball out of defence for the Blues. Halfway through the quarter Lock had closed the gap to level the score but Tumby Bay's Tamika O'Malley was shooting confidently, and Tumby Bay edged out to a 2-goal lead by the end the quarter. Score being 10-8.

Lock made changes bringing Alyssa Siebert into wing attack and young Ruby Arbon into centre. The experience of Lock's goalies Jane Pearce and Sally Zacher was evident with their holding and great passing working the ball into the goal ring.

Lock's Arbon was getting turnovers and putting pressure on the passes through the middle. O'Malley for Tumby was getting plenty of support from the sidelines. Lock increased their pressure in the Tumby Bay goal circle late in the quarter and scored a late goal on the whistle, but Tumby Bay were still ahead 20-17.

Both teams made changes at the long break with Monique Trenberth and Alison Wilson swapping tags for Tumby Bay and Lock bringing Brooke Copp into wing defence for extra height. Tumby Bay threw away the first centre pass with Lock capitalising with a goal.

Devine for Tumby in goal defence was positioning herself perfectly under the post to take any rebounds on offer. Lock was able to get within a goal, but Tumby Bay sneaked to a six-goal lead with two minutes left in the quarter due to some Lock errors and accurate shooting by the Tumby shooters. Score 32-26.

Lock made more changes bringing Natalie Benc into centre and putting Arbon back at goal defence, but Tumby scored the first goal of the quarter and sensed victory. They surged ahead to a nine-goal lead, the highest of the game, with the Tumby Bay midcourt being a blue sea of defence.

Tumby maintained their pressure which resulted in more scoring opportunities and goals falling. With their confidence high Tumby Bay ran away with a convincing win 47-29. Best on court were the goal attacks, Tamika O'Malley for Tumby Bay and Jane Pearce for Lock.

D GRADE PRELIMINARY FINAL

Tumby Bay def United Yeelanna 32-20

Tumby Bay began the game with a different shooting circle than last week, and started with a goal through Paige Dillon at shooter. Strong defence from both teams caused minor errors in the midcourt. Tumby Bay's goalkeeper Sadie Curtis had a great contest with United Yeelanna's Alinta Dingwall.

Taryn Beinke was being influential right from the first whistle for Tumby Bay with many deflections and intercepts. At the end of the first quarter, the game couldn't be split with the score being 6-6.

The second quarter started with a turnover and Tumby Bay converted to score the first goal. United Yeelanna returned by scoring off Tumby Bay's centre pass. Mylee Haylock was tight in defence and making it difficult for the Blues to feed the ball into their goal circle.

With five minutes to go, Tumby Bay lifted their intensity with Maisie Curtis rewarding her team with accurate shooting. It was Tumby Bay's quarter with them leading at half time 18-12.

Both teams started the second half with footwork errors and the changes made by United Yeelanna took some time to settle.

Tumby Bay's Curtis at goal attack and United Yeelanna's Jessica Crosby were having a tough physical contest which was a highlight of the third quarter. The third quarter ended with Tumby Bay ahead 24-15.

Both teams made changes to go into the final quarter. Tumby Bay wing defence Lily Walker brought some fresh legs into the defence end with some deflections early and United Yeelanna's Ruby Kidney moved well in the ring amongst the taller defence.

It was a good game by United Yeelanna, but Tumby Bay were too strong having a 12-goal win 32-20. Best for Tumby Bay was Taryn Beinke and Maya Glover being best for United Yeelanna.

E GRADE

United Yeelanna def Ramblers 45-27

United Yeelanna won the toss and took the centre pass, but Ramblers could not convert after an early turnover. United Yeelanna's defenders were making it hard for the Ramblers' goalies early, but Matilda Nettle was strong for her team.

Sharmaine Crosby was getting intercepts and driving well through the centre for United Yeelanna. The desperation for the ball saw play go up and back without any score before United Yeelanna steadied to score the next two goals.

April Wagner in wing defence was dominating for United Yeelanna. The Magpies defenders Bella Agars and Annie Shirley were picking up any loose balls, but United Yeelanna looked to have settled and took the lead to five at quarter time. Scores United Yeelanna 9 - Ramblers 4.

Ramblers took Millie Speed - who had injured her ankle at school during the week - off and moved Hadassah Mickan in to wing defence and Indy Holman into wing attack. United Yeelanna took three quick goals from the whistle to extend their lead with accurate shooting from Chelsea Wilksch and Tahlia Modra.

Ramblers were determined to keep themselves in the game and fought back to get the next four goals. Crosby and Ruby Cabot were driving well for their respective teams, but United Yeelanna's height down the court began to pay off against the younger Rambler girls and the Eagles took a seven-goal lead into half time, 20-13.

Ramblers took Mickan off and brought Shannay Povey on in wing defence. United Yeelanna once again remained unchanged. The quarter started with both teams lifting the intensity, wanting to stamp their mark on the game.

United Yeelanna capitalised on their opportunities and played some great steady netball, gradually taking control of the game and taking a handy lead of 15 goals into the last break 33-18.

Ramblers swapped Bella Agars into goals and Georgia Bascombe into goalkeeper in a last-ditch effort to keep their team in the game. Both teams made a determined start, with Lucy Wilksch in goal defence making Rambler's shooter Matilda Nettle earn every ball.

The switch of Agars into goals began to pay off early with a quick goal. Ramblers were having plenty of opportunities but just being unable to convert. Chelsea Wilksch and Annie Shirley had a great tussle all day, but United Yeelanna had a strong finish, winning by 18 goals. United Yeelanna 45 defeating Ramblers 27.

A great game of netball played in quite warm conditions. The intensity and determination from both teams showed the spectators they were both worthy of playing off today. Best on court for United Yeelanna was April Wagner and for Ramblers, Ruby Cabot.

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