By Matt Fotia
With the halfway mark more or less upon us things are starting to really take shape in regards to premiership favourites, finals fancies and sides on the slide. Find out who fits where in the Netball Review.
The big upset in Premier Division saw Upwey-Tecoma knock off Berwick by one goal at home, 38-37. The Tigers lead 14-10 at the first break before Berwick took control of the game, leading by one goal at the main break and two goals at the final change, seemingly in control of the match.
Upwey however, led by Georgia Copleand and Teah Edelmaier, outscored the Wickers 12 to nine in the final quarter to pinch the points and collect their second win of the season. Despite not moving the Tigers up from second last on the ladder, this win further vindicates David O’Hare’s appointment at the beginning of the season, with the Tigers competing well in spite of the increased strength of the division.
For Berwick it’s a big month ahead of them if they’re too keep any hope of finals alive.
They’ve promised a lot this season but haven’t been able to collect consistent victories and occasions like the one detailed above have left them two games off the pace, despite goal shooter Emma Clarke having a strong season with 189 goals, keeping her in the Team of the Year conversation.
They have a break this weekend (due to their Round Nine fixture being played in April) before taking on a resurgent Wandin, who defeated Healesville by 22 goals (Cassidy Iedema 43 goals) at the weekend to overtake the Wickers on the ladder, before taking on Healesville, another bye and Beaconsfield. If they can take 12 points from the next month they’ll keep themselves alive, but another loss to Wandin this Saturday could spell the end of their 2019 finals push.
Elsewhere Olinda Ferny Creek accounted for Cranbourne by 25 goals with Peri Stewart continuing her march towards 1000 goals in a season with another 45, whilst Woori Yallock jumped in third spot on the table with a six goal win over Narre Warren with the usual culprits Hargrave (31) and Sudomirski (32) leading the charge.
LADDER (RD 8)
Olinda Ferny Creek – 32 points
Beaconsfield – 28 points
Woori Yallock – 24 points
Cranbourne – 20 points
Narre Warren – 20 points
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Wandin – 16 points
Berwick – 12 points
Upwey-Tecoma – 12 points
Healesville – 0 points
The question in Division One is now the same as the other two divisions – can anyone catch the leaders?
ROC are beginning to really establish themselves as the dominant force in Division One. Whilst that might seem strange seeing as they are yet to lose meaning their dominance has been on show since the start, it’s only been in recent weeks that their superiority has shone through.
Other than Emerald, who the Roos accounted for 51-33 on the weekend, all of the other sides seem to be on a fairly level pegging able to take points off of each other on any given day.
ROC’s depth is their most potent weapon. The three Emily’s – McInness, La Roche and Boribon continued their good seasons in the win on the weekend, whist leading goal scorer for the season Dorothea George (135 goals) was not missed at all, with Boribon (19), Sidney Kneebone (5) and Sarah Castricum (27) all contributing at the weekend.
All of these girls have over 35 goals this season giving ROC multiple goaling options, which isn’t something all of their opponents can boast.
ROC have scored 30 more goals than the next best attacking side (Warburton Millgrove) and are also the second best defensive unit.
They’re a very complete side who according to some insiders are yet to really hit their top gear making them a scary proposition for the rest of 2019.
The only other game this weekend highlighted the evenness of the competition (between 2nd and 7th) in the division with the Pakenham Lions defeating Warburton Millgrove 47-41. Both sides enjoyed periods of dominance throughout the encounter with the Lions ability to score against the flow the difference. Kyra Esler netted 29 goals and was best on court for the hosts, whilst Warburton Millgrove centre Selina Fotia returned to form for the Burras – who have now slipped outside the top five.
LADDER (RD 7)
ROC – 28 points
Mount Evelyn – 20 points
Pakenham Lions – 16 points
Doveton – 16 points
Monbulk – 12 points
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WMFNC – 12 points
Belgrave – 8 points
Emerald – 0 points
Seville have put their hand to have a crack at the indomitable force that is Yea, after they knocked off Kinglake by nine goals on Saturday 42-33. The two sides were locked at 21 apiece at half time before the Steph McNay led Blues held the Lakers to just 12 goals in the second half to go a game clear in second place.
Stephanie Durant combined with the aforementioned McNay to put on a defensive masterclass in the second half as the pair finished one-two in the Seville best players. They managed to keep Kinglake Goal Shooter Billie Cvijetic to just 17 goals for the game, whilst Jackie Cullimore carried on from where she left off at the other end of the court, netting 27 goals in a relatively low scoring clash for the Blues.
Both sides take on Yea in the next fortnight, with Seville first up on the chopping block. The Blues are a much better side than they were in Round One, when the Tigers handed them a lesson. Recent form suggests they’re the only team that could hit the scoreboard enough to challenge the ladder leaders.
Kinglake will be involved at the pointy end of the season, but there scoring power has lacked this season despite the impressive first season in yellow and green for Cvijetic (212 goals). It should be a real area of improvement for the Lakers to focus on.
In other games Yarra Glen made it four in a row against Gembrook Cockatoo to club into fourth spot on the table, just one game behind the Lakers and Alexandra sit a game further back in fifth place after they accounted for Yarra Junction.
LADDER (RD 9)
Yea – 36 points
Seville – 32 points
Kinglake – 28 points
Yarra Glen – 24 points
Alexandra – 20 points
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Yarra Junction – 16 points
Powelltown – 12 points
Gembrook-Cockatoo 8 points