SFNL Netball Round Reviews brought to you by Yellow Tail wines.
By Hugh Maclean
One thing that sport teaches you is that champion teams do not appreciate the bitter taste of defeat. With this in mind, and with last week’s reverse against Heatherton still flaring their nostrils, Dingley stood up to the challenge posted by Keysborough and emerged with their first four points of the season.
The Borough certainly came to play, as you would expect in a grand final re-match. There was no easy ball in the middle of the court, but quick hands in attack afforded early opportunities which were well taken by the Keysborough goalers. But anyone wondering whether Dingley were on the slide didn’t have long to wait for an answer as they steadied to take a three-point lead into quarter time. Both sides moved the ball quickly in the second term, Keysborough using diagonal and cross-court passes while Dingley attacked up the flanks, but here Dingley took control, extending their lead to 11 at the main break. Both sets of players played for keeps in the second half, but Keysborough could not make any impression with Dingley winning every quarter to win by 56-41.
Elsewhere in Division 1, Heatherton continued on their merry way by repelling the challenge of the young and determined Caulfield outfit. The girls in black and white looked in control from the opening siren, and whilst Caulfield stayed in touch by gaining maximum value from their early opportunities, Heatherton held a four-point advantage at the first break. They really took control over the middle quarters, but Caulfield showed their resilience by winning the final quarter, Heatherton finishing victorious by 58-41 over a side for whom they have a very healthy respect.
The best match of the day in Division 1 was between St Kilda City and Bentleigh. Bentleigh took control after a positive opening by St Kilda City in a low-scoring first half, but the Saints clicked the machine into gear after the main break. They ran hard and moved the ball well in the third quarter, and this time started to get some reward on the scoreboard, taking a five-point lead to the final change. The last quarter was a brilliant affair as Bentleigh started to run over the top of their opponents, wiping off the deficit and establishing a two-point lead half way through the final stanza. But the Saints were not to be denied, and as the final siren rang out they took the victory by the barest of margins, 33-32.
The scorecards in Division 2 showed four rather comprehensive victories, but as is often the case these do not tell the full story. CPL and Dingley met as sides that had taken narrow wins from Round 1, and there was nothing in the first quarter with scores level at the first change. It was in the middle of the second stanza that CPL took control and never released their hold on the match, extending their lead throughout the rest of the day and running out winners by 43-27.
Mordialloc looked like good things at half time against Bentleigh, assuming control after a goal-for-goal first five minutes to lead by seven. But the Bentleigh girls could sense that momentum was starting to swing, and so it continued throughout the third term, with the Demons taking the lead late on and beginning the last quarter with a two goal advantage. Mordialloc attacked strongly but found goals hard to come by, and it was Bentleigh that made the most of the chances forced by their defensive pressure, outlasting the red-and-whites to win by 42-31.
The other Division 2 matches showed a slick, well-organised St Pauls take the initiative early against Chelsea Heights. This side is very calm and composed. They rebound well and know each other’s game impeccably, and Chelsea Heights could make no impression, finishing 49-17 in arrears. Likewise, Heatherton ran all over St Kilda City early in their match and never let up. Having won in Round 1 by 34 goals, now they won this match to the tune of 69-11.
In Division 3, Dingley made it two wins from two, putting East Brighton to the sword by 69-13. St Kilda City joined them on eight points, defeating Caulfield by 51-39, as did Heatherton with a clinical 51-26 win over Mordialloc. Elsewhere Keysborough opened their account by trumping Skye 41-27, while the Jetballers of Black Rock did likewise against Clayton, winning 33-26.
Division 4 sees four teams unbeaten. Dingley followed up their win in Round 1 with a 50-17 victory over Skye. Caulfield were made to work hard all day before finally emerging with the points against a plucky Springvale Districts by 30-25. Heatherton made short work of the Highett challenge, winning by 45-20, while Keysborough were never headed by St Kilda City, prevailing by 52-33. The close one saw Lyndale atone for a narrow opening-day loss, defeating South Yarra by 26-23.
Bentleigh’s Division 5 side had their second successive crushing victory, this time over Dingley by 47-15. Black Rock were dominant against Mordialloc, winning 65-18. Heatherton backed up their Round 1 win with a 56-26 triumph over Clayton. Chelsea Heights got on the board with a 38-29 win over Cheltenham, while St Kilda City had to work hard to stay unbeaten against a gutsy Oakleigh District, finishing in front by 49-23.
Heatherton, Lyndhurst and Lyndale lead the way early in Division 6, whilst St Kilda City and Caulfield reversed opening day losses to emerge victorious in Round 2. Division 7 sees Bentleigh, Dandenong and Lyndhurst all topping the 80-goal tally in the opening two rounds as undefeated sides, with Heatherton securing their first win this week.
In Division 8, Heatherton had a crushing 75-9 victory to complete a remarkable eight wins from eight teams on the day. Cheltenham also remained undefeated, while Mount Waverley completed their first victory having had the bye in round one. In the Under 19s, both Dingley’s sides had comfortable victories over Mordialloc Two and Skye respectively.
Images courtesy of Michael Walsh.