By Matt Fotia
The first weekend of Outer East Netball saw the majority of last seasons front runners re-stamp their authority on their respective competitions, with three players netting 40 plus goals.
Olinda Ferny Creek faced off against Narre Warren and the Bloods won every quarter as they ran away 30 goal victors in their Premier Division clash. Peri Stewart shot 45 goals in strong combination with Ashlee Howard (26 goals). The Bloods owned both circles as Brodie Smith performed well in her duel with Chloe Phillips (23 goals).
Brittany Mashado and Kaeleigh Brown were admirable for the Magpies, but lost the mid court battle to the ever-green Krista Tomlinson.
Sunday afternoon saw the closest match of the round, when Berwick pinched it’s first win of the season over Wandin by just two goals.
Scores were tied at the first break before the Wickers pulled away to lead by seven goals at the final charge thanks to the strong combination of Kassidy Withers (22 goals) and Emma Clarke (14).
Clarke’s influence was limited however due to the stand out performance of Wandin Goal-Keeper Ruby Tidd.
Elsewhere Upwey Tecoma comfortably defeated Healesville and Cranbourne went down to Beaconsfield.
Belgrave’s new look A Grade outfit got off to the perfect start with an eight goal victory over Monbulk on Saturday.
Despite finishing runners-up in the Yarra Ranges Division One last season, the Magpies were expected to slip slightly and Monbulk under Christina Puopolo were a tough challenge to start.
Nicole Macdowell was dominant in the mid court for the Hawks, but Khloe Weaver’s defensive game was immense with the Hawks scoring just 28 goals. Ellen Anthony shot 21 for the Magpies to start the season well.
In other games Pakenham Lions won comfortably against Emerald and Mount Evelyn had a tight win over Warburton Millgrove, pulling away in the final minutes.
Kinglake and Yea showed they will be the teams to beat once again in Division Two, with the Lakers in particular showing no mercy in round one, defeating Gembrook-Cockatoo by 56 goals – 70-14.
New recruit Biljana Cvijetic finished with 43 goals as she, Nakita Lastrina (27 goals) and Bridget Waack led the Brookers on a merry dance.
Not to be outdone Yea Goal Shooter Melissa Martinov finished with 42 goals against a disappointing Seville outfit, as the Tigers ran out 25 goal winners. Kinglake and Yea meet on Anzac Day in a tantalising Grand Final re-match.
Meanwhile Yarra Junction pulled off a come from behind win against Powelltown, finishing eight goal winners (59-51) despite being down at the half. Amanda Finn finished the afternoon with 35 goals.