SFNL Netball Round Reviews brought to you by yellow tail wines.
Listen back to the podcast of Sunday’s ‘Nothing But Net’ radio show, with special guest Mel Aitken (Oakleigh District FNC) in the player below.
By Hugh Maclean
Round 2 of Division 1 netball saw an early nomination for match of the year, new arrivals showing that they will be a force to be reckoned with, and our old favourites at the top of the table showing that they’re not going anywhere just yet.
St Pauls played Keysborough in a knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out affair in which both sides looked likely winners at various stages of the match. The first term set the scene with St Pauls pressing the Keysborough girls into error but then responding by pushing the pass themselves, and not always to good effect. In a quarter where chances were most commonly made by opponent error, St Pauls took a two-point advantage. Keysborough looked better after the first break, and though it took a while to find their shooting range they turned the two-point deficit into a two-point half time lead. The Saints regained the lead in a tense third term and looked likely winners after a tough and tetchy start to the last term, but Keysborough are very experienced in this situation and are made of stern stuff. They regrouped to retake the lead late, and held on for a meritorious 38-36 victory.
The unavailability of VNL players led to two weakened sides in the Heatherton Black v Caulfield clash. The lack of cohesion showed early on, but with the Mifsud sisters prominent Heatherton looked in control at half time with a 26-16 lead. It was in the third term that this game started to catch fire. Caulfield were brilliant in their defensive intercept play, and with recruit Jemima Price setting play up going forward the margin was reduced to four at the last change. Here though Heatherton steadied and with the experienced heads shepherding the young talent through, they were too strong in defence, the winning margin being 39-29.
The Heatherton White side took on Bentleigh in a battle between two of the youngest squads in the division. Heatherton moved the ball well from the start, and with the excellent Maggie Carlon running the show they were able to get enough good quality ball into the goal circle to lead by five at the first change and 11 at the main break. This game showcased some individual battles that we will see for many years to come, Bella Riddell v Tobi Cunningham at one and Kelsy Dornau v Erin Naismith at the other enthralling the crowd. In the second half Bentleigh switched Dornau into defence on Mia McMillan and Cunningham forward, which let Cunningham in for two early goals. But in McMillan Heatherton have one of the most exciting young shooters in the SFNL, and Heatherton were able to regroup and pull away to a 61-35 win.
Dingley took on St Kilda City at the Peanut Farm. This was a game in which the midfield battle was reasonably even, but the tale of the tape was told at each end of the court. St Kilda will feel that they had enough ball into their shooters to amass a winning score, but the conversion wasn’t quite what they would have wished. At the other end however, Dingley were far more clinical, and the further the game progressed the more they were able to wear their opponents down. 42-24 was the final margin.
Division 2 didn’t see too many close matches as a concerning chasm between the top half of the competition begins to develop. Heatherton blew Mordialloc out of the water early in their clash, opening up a 40-goal break by the main change. The ladies in red stuck at their task well in the third and fourth quarters, but by now the black and whites were in coast mode, and ran out comfortable 75-20 victors. South Yarra was another side to open up a huge break early, based around an unwillingness to allow CPL to score whilst capitalising on their own opportunities. 43-12 illustrated the gulf between the two sides and gave the Yarras their first points in Division 2. Caulfield franked their opening day victory with a comprehensive 40-13 win over a developing Bentleigh side, whilst Dingley triumphed in the only battle between two Round 1 winners, outlasting St Kilda City by 45-29.
The match of the day in Division 3 did not disappoint, with no quarter asked or given between Dingley and St Kilda City, and nothing separating the sides in a 36-all draw. Lyndale (28-22 winners over Mordialloc), Clayton (winning 35-22 over Heatherton), and Caulfield (who beat Hampton 58-16), remain unbeaten, while Black Rock broke their duck with a 35-22 defeat of Keysborough.
Heatherton White look the early Division 4 pacesetters, their 65-17 win over Black Rock being their second successive crushing victory. Dingley Red also made it two from two, getting the better of St Kilda City by 25-20, as did Heatherton Black by beating Caulfield by 46-29. Dingley Yellow started their season (having had the opening day bye), with a 60-17 thumping of St Pauls, while South Yarra got on the board with a 53-31 victory over East Brighton.
Skye have started the Division 5 season like rockets, backing up their opening day success with a 41-18 win over Bentleigh being very impressive. They are joined at the top of the tree by Dingley (38-33 victors over St Kilda Red), and Lyndhurst (too good for Heatherton by 34-25). Mordialloc (45-31 over St Kilda Black) and Cheltenham (52-22 over Highett), had impressive first wins, while Dandenong had to pull out all stops to open their account with a 28-25 victory over Caulfield.
Dingley Yellow ran riot over Caulfield, their 71-6 demolition taking them to the early lead in Division 6, with Heatherton, Mount Waverley, Doveton Eagles and Clayton also racking up second victories that will have encouraged their supporters. But possibly the biggest cheer of the whole competition came when Hallam registered the first win in the club’s history. Congratulations to them – I’m sure their 30-25 defeat of Dingley Red will be the first of many.
CPL and Dingley have two wins in Division 7, with Oakleigh Districts, Lyndhurst and Murrumbeena saluting for the first time. Dingley and Keysborough are the only unbeaten sides in Division 8 after two matches.
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A gallant Caulfield fell short of reigning premers Heatherton Black.PHOTO: Michael Walsh
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Keysborough edged out St Pauls in a thriller.PHOTO:
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St Kilda City fell short of Dingley at the Peanut Farm.PHOTO: Michael Walsh
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Bentleigh were overpowered by Heatherton White.PHOTO: Michael Walsh