Northern too Strong for Southern

The Southern Football Netball League’s representative netballers took to the court over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in their massive Interleague clash with the Northern Netball League.

But despite the girls’ best efforts they couldn’t quite get the chocolates with the NNL winning their A-Grade match 47 to 34 at Parade College’s Bundoora Campus on Friday night.

The SFNL started positively and traded goals with their Northern rivals in the early stages of the first term. However, as the quarter reached its conclusion the Southerners conceded a couple of late ones to hand the NNL a five-goal advantage at the break.

The second term panned out much like the first had. Three early goals had cut the SFNL’s deficit right back, but the NNL seemed to have all the answers. Again the Southern girls faded late and trailed by eight at the half.

Unfortunately the third quarter didn’t quite go to script for the SFNL, with the home side again on top. However, two goals in the final 15 seconds brought the margin back to a manageable 12 goals and the Southerners were still in the contest.

SFNL skipper Zali Mifsud was moved into Wing Attack for the final term and it paid handsome early dividends. She was the catalyst as the Southerners scored the first three goals of the quarter and a stunning comeback looked on the cards.

But it wasn’t to be as the NNL hit back and ran out comfortable winners.

Keysborough’s Tarryn Munro took home the medal as the SFNL’s best player with a dominant performance in the centre of the court. She ran hard and won plenty of ball while her long bombs forward to the goal scorers frequently caught their opponents off guard.

Chloe Plumb, Munro’s teammate at the Burras, was sensational in attack in the first half, while Dingo Sarah Fischer picked up where she left off in the second. Both girls were deadly accurate in front of the net and were potting them from seemingly anywhere.

Down the other end of the court Alicia Wise (Dingley) and Courtney Weiske (Heatherton) were rock-solid and time and again provided the SFNL with opportunities to counter-attack out of defence.

Earlier in the evening the SFNL girls went down to the NNL 45 to 25 in their B-Grade clash.

The Southerners were hot early and led by one goal at the first change. But the girls from the North got on top in the second quarter, dominating the possession and proved impenetrable in defence, and from there they were never headed.

The SFNL, to their credit, fought tooth and nail to the very end but ultimately the NNL proved too strong.

Dingley’s Sara Merkus, the SFNL side’s captain, was sublime in Wing Defence, and picked up the best on court medal for her efforts.

Her compatriot at the Dingoes, Penny Byers-Tymms, was also outstanding in attack for the SFNL.

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