By Matt Fotia
Cellar dwellers show signs of life, Hawks swoop as the Burras stay in touch and its an old fashioned duel between the Dogs and the Pies. All that and more in the Netball Review.
Gembrook-Cockatoo are yet to win a game this season in Division Two A Grade but their performance against Alexandra on the weekend would’ve given coach Mickey Uren something to smile about.
The Brookers trailed by just one goal at quarter time before fading throughout the second half to go down by 14 goals, the closest they’ve been to victory all season. Brylee O’Neil shot 13 goals whilst Hollie Burton and Ashleigh Taylor impressed for the girls in green.
The Rebels jumped into fourth place on the ladder with this win and are just percentage ahead of Yarra Glen and percentage behind Kinglake.
Gembrook-Cockatoo have steadily improved all season. In round one they took on last years runners up Kinglake and lost by 56. Since then only once has their losing margin been bigger, when they lost by 63 to the indomitable Yea Tigers.
They’ve played three sides on two occasions thus far this season and have improved on their first performance each time.
They lost in round 10 to the aforementioned Kinglake by 51, a five goal improvement on round one. Last weekend Yarra Junction defeated the Brookers by 39 goals, a three goal improvement on their round two clash. This weekends performance is a 16 goal swing after the Rebels defeated them by 30 goals in round three.
They might not have a win to their name yet, but their improvement is a testament to their willingness to learn and grow, along with their resilience.
In the other Division Two games, Jackie Cullimore netted 39 goals to see Seville defeat Yarra Glen by 36 goals as they stay in touch with ladder leaders Yea, who defeated Yarra Junction by 34 goals, with Melissa Martinov finishing best on court with 53 goals.
ROC have been beaten and as predicted it was at the hands of a Steph Puopolo inspired Monbulk, with the Hawks running out eight goal winners 47-39. Puopolo finished with 42 goals.
But it wasn’t just the attacking threat of Puopolo that took down the Roos. The defensive trio of Paige Whitworth, Tiana Mancarella and Katrina Wragg were named the three best Hawks as they kept the usually free flowing ROC to just 39 goals. Dorothea George finished with 13 goals – the best for the Roos.
ROC failed to score more than 11 goals in a quarter and throughout the second and third terms they were outscored by nine goals, 30-21. Puopolo is obviously a star netballer, but her presence quite clearly brings the best out of the Hawks. The more she plays, the more serious a threat they will be come September.
Monbulk’s win moves them into fourth place just one game ahead of the sixth placed Warburton Millgrove, who closed the gap on Doveton in fifth with an 11 goal win over Belgrave. Captain Selina Fotia returned to form, whilst Bianca Daniels (29 goals) and Karly Wappett also impressed.
Elsewhere Abbey Tognazzini led Pakenham Lions to an impressive 45-18 win over Doveton and Kaitlyn Black netted 41 goals as Mount Evelyn knocked of Emerald 56-38.
Wins to Beaconsfield and Woori Yallock on the weekend have sentenced Narre Warren and Wandin to battle it out for the last spot in the finals.
Danielle Roberts (22 Goals) and Tanya Mijovic (20) combined well for the Eagles as they stayed in second spot on the ladder with an eight goal win over the Magpies, 42-34. Rylee Nelson was the Eagles best, whilst Chelsea Tonna shot 12 goals to be named best on court for the Magpies, who are still ahead of Wandin by just 5.41% after Wandin lost by five goals to Woori Yallock 47-42.
Mia Sudomirski shot 34 goals for the Tigers, whilst Cassidy Iedema continued her good form with 41 for the Dogs as both sides channeled most of their attacking threat through one avenue.
Woori Yallock are now on 32 points in fourth place, tied with Cranbourne, and are three games clear of the fifth placed Magpies and sixth placed Dogs. Narre Warren will travel to Wandin in just under a month’s time and could be well placed to deliver a knockout blow to the Dogs finals hopes.
Wandin take on second placed Beaconsfield and third placed Cranbourne in the two weeks following the Vic Country v VAFA bye, whilst Narre Warren should bank eight points against Upwey-Tecoma (eighth) and Healesville (ninth) in the same period and enter the clash against Wandin two games clear of the Dogs.
Wandin will have to produce an upset prior to that clash to put themselves in pole position for fifth, whilst Narre Warren just have to stave of an upset loss of their own.