SFNL Netball Round Review

By Hugh Maclean



Listen back to this week’s Nothing But Net podcast, featuring Mordialloc Coach Sophie Durnan as the special guest, in the player above.



A fascinating Round 3 of Division 1 netball gave us a first win for St Kilda City, a first loss for Mordialloc, a show of strength from the perennial powerhouses, and a competition leader that no-one would have predicted at the beginning of the season.

Heatherton faced Keysborough on a weekend in which they looked slightly vulnerable against a team whose results haven’t reflected the threat that they have posed. After a cagey opening characterised by loose passes caused by mid-court pressure, it was Keysborough that landed the first three goals of the match. Heatherton had steadied by quarter time to lead by 11-8, and with makeshift shooting combination Leah Seeto and Bayley Mifsud to the fore they took control in the second quarter to lead by 10 at the main break. Keysborough worked hard to remain in the game after half time, with Amy Burns and Courtney Nash rotating through the centre to form a particular threat, but with wing attack Khristine Tilley starring it was Heatherton that did enough to secure a solid 43-30 win.

Dingley and Caulfield faced off in a battle that will bear little resemblance to clashes later in the season. Both Dingley’s regular key defenders were missing, and with Caulfield depleted at both ends of the court the depth of both combatants was sorely tested. Both sides moved the ball well through the middle of the court but with Sarah Fischer and Laura Piper getting better as the match progressed, Dingley’s shooters were able to outgun the Caulfield attack. Though Brodie Aumont’s passing range looked particularly dangerous and the returning Alice Pohlner was strong in defence. Caulfield could not prevent Dingley from winning every quarter in a 48-21 victory.

St Kilda City and Hampton Park met in a match between two sides that had come close to victory without taking the points in their first two matches. This match began with a very measured and precise tempo as both sides looked to work the ball up the court in combinations, to give their shooters the best possible chances to score. There were never more than two or three goals between the sides at any stage of this match, although St Kilda City held sway at each change. Scores were level with just two minutes to play, but it was City that gained the definitive break to score a 37-34 triumph. Cloe Ballard controlled play well for the victors, whilst for the vanquished Megan Egbers contributed 26 goals to continue her fine start to the season.

St Pauls retained their undefeated record and left round three as competition leaders in a pulsating, free-flowing clash with Mordialloc. Mordialloc provided the greater number of opportunities for their shooters to tally a winning score, but it was the efficiency of Grace Healey (36 goals), and her excellent sidekick Zoe Lythgo that told the tale of the tape. Mordialloc took a two-goal lead into the first change but this margin was reversed at the half with Ann Cooper and Kate Newey making life difficult for the opposition shooters. St Pauls extended the lead to three at the final break but with Sophie Durnan and Amy Gledhill in particular working well for Mordialloc, they were able to level scores at 38-38 deep into the last stanza. It was here that Claire Stratton made a key interception to turn a Mordialloc attack into a St Pauls goal, and with St Pauls going on to post the last five goals of the match the Saints closed out a 43-38 success.

Three Division 2 teams posted their second win from as many starts this week. Cheltenham took the lead early in the match against Bentleigh, then held them at arm’s length for much of the day before pulling clear in the last quarter to win 44-35. Caulfield beat Dingley Red in a match where the lead changed at each quarter break. The move of Amy Swift into goal shooter in the last term was pivotal in Caulfield’s 36-34 victory. Keysborough spent the match trying to peg back Murrumbeena’s six goal quarter time lead. They were still knocking at the door late into the last quarter, but it was the Lionesses that held their nerve to win 35-33 and retain their unbeaten record. South Yarra scored their first win, an early lead proving decisive as they beat Clayton 30-27, and Dingley Gold’s 30-27 win over Heatherton in a see-sawing clash gets them off the mark in 2018.

The margins weren’t as close in Division 3. Heatherton were always in control against Lyndale, doubling their score in a 46-23 win. Caulfield won the last quarter against St Kilda City but it was too little, too late as City won by 39-28. Dingley shared the goals around four shooters in a 73-23 whitewash of Hampton Park, for whom Krystyna Gabell scored 20 of their tally of 23. And Mordialloc took a three-goal lead into quarter time, but it was all Black Rock from there with the Jetballers winning by 43-28.

Caulfield Yellow turned a quarter time deficit into a five-goal half time lead, a lead they held in beating St Kilda City by 40-35 in Division 4. Dingley took their time overcoming Heatherton White but were triumphant by 49-26. CPL dominated the second half in beating Black Rock by 42-16, while Cheltenham lead all day against South Yarra, 40-13 being the final margin. Heatherton Black defeated Springvale Districts 54-26 after a tight first half, with a 20 goal to five third term doing the damage. Finally, Keysborough came back from a ten-goal half time deficit to level the scores at the last change, but Caulfield Blue were in front when it mattered, winning by the barest of margins, 36-35.

Division 5 saw several huge scores registered. St Pauls led all day in beating Bentleigh 42-12. Lyndhurst led by twelve at quarter time and increased the margin steadily before beating St Kilda City 53-25. Jarrah Thompson scored 46 goals for a dominant Murrumbeena as they beat Dingley Red by 78-23, while Nicole Carmeni managed 61 of Dingley Gold’s 70 against Caulfield, who only scored 16 goals of their own. Highett gradually built on their early dominance before beating Heatherton 53-35, while East Brighton came from behind to beat Cheltenham by 33-24.

Lyndale were strong early and won every quarter bar the last in beating St Kilda City 38-19 in Division 6. Keysborough were in control all day in their 38-18 win over Dingley. Mordialloc only allowed Hallam six goals in the first half, and 20 overall while scoring 31 of their own. Ashleigh Johnson scored 31 goals from wing attack in three quarters as Aspendale beat Doveton Eagles 50-23. South Yarra and East Brighton were level at three quarter time, but Emily Bacon’s 12 last quarter goals were decisive as South Yarra won by 40-31, while Oakleigh District prevailed after an even first quarter by 39-16 over Clayton.

Lyndhurst won every quarter in defeating Mount Waverley 40-23 in Division 7. Aspendale overturned an early deficit before pulling away in the last term in beating CPL by 47-25. Heatherton broke the game against Cheltenham open in the third quarter before outlasting the Rosellas in winning 37-29. Murrumbeena’s 55-12 win over Hallam was eclipsed by Mordialloc’s 88-16 demolition of Springvale Districts, Touri Bowtell scoring 50 for the ladies in red. Hampton dominated the second half to beat Doveton Eagles 31-20.

Lyndale converted an eight-goal opening quarter break into a 31-21 win over Keysborough in Division 8. Lyndhurst and Oakleigh District were all square in the first and last quarters, but the Lightning dominated the middle stanzas in winning 37-30. Highett’s early lead over Hallam had evaporated by three quarter time before they kicked again to win 26-22, and Rach Nicholls’ 37 goals allowed Dingley to dominate over Springvale Districts, the final margin being 57-13.

Division 9 showed Lyndhurst leading Dingley 10-2 at quarter time and holding them at bay from there to win 29-22. Black Rock led South Yarra by 19 at half time, and the Yarras never recovered in losing by 41-19, while Heatherton were dominant all day in beating Clayton 49-13.

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