SFNL Netball Round Reviews brought to you by yellow tail wines.
By Hugh Maclean
Round 4 showcased some of the best netball seen thus far in 2016. Keysborough took on a Caulfield side which has looked impressive at times without getting the reward on the points table. The Borough’s ball movement early on was the cleanest seen this season, and they used the height of Abby Mackie in the shot circle effectively to go into quarter time with a 17-4 lead. Caulfield were stung by this, and with Steph Clemons gaining a foothold in the middle of the court, they were able to chip away at the deficit in the middle quarters. However, two late goals in the third quarter hurt, and in the final stanza Keysborough were able to hold steady to close out a 48-38 victory.
Over at the Peanut Farm, Dingley were keen to arrest a recent tendency to start matches slowly and were very quick out of the blocks against St Kilda City. The defensive pressure all over the court was particularly impressive, and this led to multiple turnovers that the Dingoes were able to turn into goals. When the St Kilda City girls were able to work the ball forward they were faced with a tight defence led by the impressive Brittany Goldsmith. Dingley finished with a victory by 55-23.
The unbeaten Heatherton played winless Bentleigh in the other Division 1 match, and this one was a beauty. Bentleigh’s play so far in 2016 has belied their position on the points table, and after conceding the early initiative they hit back with a vengeance. Both sides ran hard off the ball looking to create space, and Bentleigh really stretched Heatherton for height in attack to take an 11-7 lead into the first break. Heatherton scored the first three goals of the second term but Bentleigh again steadied to take a one-point lead into the main break. The third term is where Heatherton took control, nearly doubling Bentleigh’s tally for the quarter. Bentleigh though would not go away, winning the last quarter by three goals but finishing just short by 46-42.
In Division 2 St Pauls took on Bentleigh with both sides having scored two wins from the first three games. St Pauls took control early, using their height advantage well in the front third while their tight defence retarded Bentleigh’s progress down the court, and with goal shooter Grace Healey rarely missing in the tricky wind, they won every quarter to triumph by 41-24.
Mordialloc, without a win on the board, started the stronger against CPL. They were able to counter CPL’s short passing, hard running style whilst moving the ball quickly on the break themselves. After an even first quarter the reds took complete control, and increased their lead at every break to win by 40-25.
Dingley played last year’s premiers St Kilda City with both sides putting on a fine display of finesse. Both sides had their periods of brilliance in the first quarter but Dingley were able to take a vital two-point advantage into quarter time, and they never looked back from that point on. The Saints never made it easy, but Dingley’s combinations were sharp and they were able to run out winners by 39-23.
The impressive Heatherton outfit took on the young Chelsea Heights side, and sadly this one was over as a contest very early in the piece. The tenacity of the Demon girls was very admirable, but they were no match for their fast and experienced opponents, the final score being 72-22.
In Division 3, the first draw of the season was seen between the undefeated Heatherton and the developing Clayton unit. A nip and tuck affair saw the sides unable to be separated, finishing 26-26. St Kilda City prevailed over Dingley in the top of the table clash by 45-38, winning the game with strong defensive pressure and quick ball movement in another game that was close all day. The other games weren’t quite so close, with Caulfield defeating Mordialloc by 38-16 and Heatherton beating Skye by 41-15.
Division 4 saw East Brighton regraded from the higher division and scoring their first ever win, toppling the previously undefeated Caulfield by 56-41. South Yarra were able to answer the challenge of Heatherton Black, winning by 27-20, while Keysborough were able to do the same with Heatherton White by 24-22. Highett were comfortable against Springvale Districts, winning 34-23, while Dingley made top spot their own with a hard-fought 26-22 victory over St Kilda City.
Division 5sees three sides still on maximum points. These are Lyndhurst, who beat Mordialloc 23-15, Dandenong, who made short work of Cheltenham by 49-26, and Heatherton who defeated Skye by 44-12. Elsewhere St Kilda City were too good for Dingley, winning by 37-27, and Chelsea Heights inflicted Bentleigh’s first loss by 32-28.
Lyndhurst lead the way in Division 6, remaining with maximum points by beating CPL by 51-15. Caulfield became the first side to defeat Lyndale, triumphing by 37-30, while comfortable wins were snared by Clayton (27-18 over Highett), and South Yarra (52-18 over Hampton). St Kilda City and Dingley played the close one, with the Saints running out 40-38 victors.
In the battle of the two winless sides in Division 7, Doveton were quite impressive in defeating Black Rock by 33-14. Elsewhere, in a day of close matches, Oakleigh District beat Bentleigh 26-21, Murrumbeena beat South Yarra 38-34, and Mount Waverley saluted by the smallest possible margin, 43-42 over Heatherton.
Cheltenham ran up the largest score of the day in Division 8, bowling over Doveton by 79-1. Keysborough were too good for Lyndhurst, winning 29-16, while Heatherton 49 were too strong for Dandenong 19
In the Under 19s Dingley One were made to work all day by Mordialloc One before the Dingley side prevailed by 36-21. In the other match Mordialloc Two and Skye fought out a gripping 17-17 draw, with Dingley Two having the bye.