SFNL Netball Round Review

By Hugh Maclean

Listen back to this week’s Nothing But Net podcast, featuring Springvale Districts' Lisa Fox as the special in-studio guest, in the player above.



Dingley consolidated their spot at the top of the Division 1 ladder by completely outclassing a game but undermanned St Pauls, winning by 58-23. The Dingoes set things up early by netting 17 times in the first term against only four replies, and as Dingley does they didn’t let up until the final siren. One of the major factors was the pressure that was brought to bear by the Dingley defence, marshalled expertly by the once-more excellent Sara Merkus, while Monique Lenahan-Moustafa’s movement was pivotal in Dingley finishing their work well. The Dingley machine was untroubled in winning every quarter in a dominant display.

Hampton Park are full of confidence having won two matches on the spin, and here they took the game right up to a Caulfield side that had started to look slightly vulnerable. At times, especially early on, Hampton Park moved the ball better in the windy conditions as their more vaunted opponents struggled to come to terms with their passing game in the windy conditions. Hampton Park’s desire to run and to own the ball was evident in the second term but they began to tire leading in to half time, and this is where the Bears began to take a foothold. Tiffany McConnell and Sophie O’Shea began to find their combination in the attacking end, and whilst things were never easy for Caulfield, and Hampton Park’s Elly Anthony was again a standout, Caulfield were a couple of goals better than the Redbacks in each quarter to win by 47-36.

Keysborough played St Kilda City in a fascinating encounter where there was never more than a couple of goals between the two sides. St Kilda passed too long in the tricky conditions, passes which were picked off by the Keysborough defence. This was addressed at quarter time, and the pressure that both sides brought to the contest kept the score down to 20-20 at the last change. This is where Keysborough began to make their break, getting a three goal advantage that City weren’t able to arrest. Katie Lindqvist was excellent all day for City, as was Anthea Nisbet-Smith who is proving an exciting addition to the City shooting division. However it was Nicole Coates’s finishing for Keysborough that made the big difference in a hard-fought 30-28 win.

Mordialloc played Heatherton for a spot in the top two, and as is befitting the gravity of the occasion the pressure here was palpable. Both sides were decimated by VNL commitments, and this was not a pretty game, a real grind. The pressure cooker atmosphere boiled over on occasions into moments of genuine spite which did little credit to those involved, but it was Mordialloc that were able to call on more players with the big-game experience to use the situation to their advantage. Heatherton’s best quarter was their second, where they were able to restrict a five-goal quarter time lead to six at the main break, but they were able to restrict Heatherton to 11 goals after half time while scoring 25 of their own. Leisa Higgins and the ever-reliable Sophie Durnan and Lucy McKeown were among the best in a 44-24 victory which takes the ladies in red ahead of Heatherton in the competition table.

Cheltenham fell to their second successive defeat at the hands of the rampaging Heatherton, but still remain top of Division 2, four points clear of Heatherton, Caulfield and Murrumbeena. Leading scorer Alex Siedle added 28 to her burgeoning tally, but Sophie Clark replied with 30 of her own with Mia McMillan and Acacia Quinn lending excellent support, as Heatherton took an even last change scoreline to score a 49-45 victory. Dingley Gold were always in control against Murrumbeena, and withstood a late charge to win by 45-37. Caulfield were given an early shock by lowly Bentleigh, being behind at quarter time and never being quite able to shake the red and blues off before winning by 47-43. Dingley Red missed a chance to put pressure on the top four after a 49-45 loss to South Yarra, while Clayton left Keysborough in the bottom two after their 40-25 win.

Heatherton retained fourth spot in toppling Division 3’s previous leaders St Kilda City in a pulsating clash by 44-43. City dominated the first half to lead by 13 at half time, but Heatherton, led by Sontina Teinakore with 39 goals, came home with a wet sail to win by the one goal. Dingley Gold’s 43-26 win over Caulfield allows them to replace City at the top of the tree, while Dingley Red joined City on 36 points after beating last-placed Bentleigh by 59-26. Black Rock beat Lyndale by 37-15 to be out of the four on percentage alone, while Cheltenham beat Mordialloc by 48-36.

Murrumbeena retained their unbeaten status in Division 4, beating fourth-placed Caulfield Yellow by 51-27. Heatherton Black also scored 51 goals in beating Hampton Park 23, and they remain the closest challenger, while CPL kept touch by beating Springvale Districts by 49-33. South Yarra beat Caulfield Blue by 29-28, and Heatherton White beat St Kilda City by 45-29 to keep their challenge alive. Keysborough scored their second victory of the season, by 43-26 over Mordialloc.

The log-jam at the head of Division 5 has been loosened, if ever so slightly, after Round 11. Lyndhurst leads the way after beating Dingley Gold by 49-32. Aspendale beat St Pauls on forfeit, and Oakleigh District beat East Brighton by 46-30 to join them on 38 points, with Dingley Gold and East Brighton on 34. St Kilda City beat Dingley Red by 40-37, Black Rock beat Highett by 26-23, while Heatherton beat Cheltenham by 31-28.

Mordialloc Red continue to dominate Division 6, keeping their unbeaten run going with a 62-14 demolition of in-form Mordialloc White. Doveton Eagles beat Lyndale by 43-21 in a clash that leaves Doveton second and Lyndale fourth, separated by Keysborough who beat St Kilda City by 32-14. Clayton beat Hallam by 53-10 to be out of the four on percentage alone, while Caulfield beat Bentleigh by 35-15 and South Yarra beat Dingley by 43-25.

Lyndhurst beat Aspendale by 40-31 and now remain the only unbeaten side in Division 7. They lead the previously-unbeaten Dingley by two points, who fell to their first defeat at the hands of Hampton (35-26), who are third a further two points back. Murrumbeena’s 50-6 walloping of Heatherton allows them to retain fourth place, while East Brighton still retain hopes of making up the leeway after beating CPL by 51-34. Cheltenham beat Springvale by 44-20, while Mount Waverley are celebrating after scoring their first win, by 32-31 over Doveton Eagles.

Hallam Red lead Division 8 on 32 points from Lyndhurst on 28, Highett 24, Hallam Yellow 18 and Lyndale 16. Lyndhurst kept Lyndale out of the top four with their close 34-33 win, while Highett convincingly beat Oakleigh District by 43-14. Last-placed Keysborough had the bye, while the result of the Hallam derby is as yet unknown.

South Yarra’s 33-19 win over Dingley keep them at the helm of Division 9, two points clear of Heatherton (who beat fourth-placed Black Rock by 28-27), and four points clear of Lyndhurst (who beat Springvale Districts Red by 48-33). Springvale Districts Blue had their second win of the season by beating Clayton by 22-19.

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