SFNL Netball Round 7 Review

By Hugh Maclean


For the second week running, all three division one matches seemed already won at half time.  This week, however, there was a comeback that turned a match around completely and produced one of the matches of the season thus far.  One of these matches was not like the other ones...

Dingley v St Pauls

After seven matches of the 2019 season Dingley are white hot, and indeed it’s difficult to see where they’re going to be beaten.  Dingley started this game as they intended to finish it, cutting swathes through the St Pauls defence whenever they took the ball and causing the Saints problems with their incessant workrate in defence.  Once they reached the goal circle Ella Quinlan and Monique Lenehan-Moustafa were tall, agile and deadly, and while St Pauls landed ten first term goals Dingley replied with sixteen of their own.

The second quarter began as the first had ended, with Dingley not relaxing the pressure at all.  St Pauls, needing to make an impression on the deficit from the outset, took five minutes to score while Dingley doubled their advantage.  By half time Dingley had doubled St Pauls’ tally through being more decisive with the ball and ruthless without it.  Saints had their best period of the game in the third quarter, with Adele Gilmore and Caitlyn Lewis gaining traction forward of the centre and Zoe Lythgo and Renee Derimboglou finishing their work well, but Dingley are relentless and took a 22-goal lead into the last term.

Dingley’s press continued to cause St Pauls to force the short passes and turn the long ones over; the experienced axis of Sara Merkus, Alicia Wise and Shae Wonnacott in the mid-court proving to be their usual tireless selves.  With Monique Lenehan-Moustafa converting all twelve of Dingley’s last quarter goals they were able to complete a clean sweep, winning all four quarters and the match comfortably.

Dingley 59 (Monique Lenehan-Moustafa 30, Ella Quinlan 29), defeated St Pauls 33 (Renee Derimboglou 21, Grace Healey 7, Zoe Lythgo 5)

Heatherton v Oakleigh District

This game had all the makings of a close encounter, on paper at least.  From very early on Heatherton gave lie to this theory as their back three of Tegan Stephenson, Karli Foster and Jane Higgs put on a defensive master class.  Heatherton began the game at a frenetic pace, bustling the fancied Oakleigh unit into error.  Pass after pass was intercepted by Heatherton’s defenders and at the other end the irrepressible Beth Wilson and Charlotte Howard were ruthless in finishing as the Tunners took a 14-6 lead to quarter time.

In the second quarter Heatherton continued to work the harder in forcing Oakleigh into difficult shooting options.  They were content to let the Oaks have possession, biding their time and creating the turnover when they felt their time was right.  When in control of the ball they moved the ball with speed and precision, and their shooters were deadly in extending their advantage to 32-13 at the main break.  Heatherton’s intensity didn’t drop after half time and continued to force Oakleigh into stray passes.  Despite needing to use Karli Foster and Emma Thompson as shooters the scoreboard didn’t slow either.

This was not the strongest line-up that Oakleigh District have fielded this season.  Their bench was shallow and the effects of Heatherton’s manic pressure started to show late in the game as the Oaks began to tire visibly.  That, however, takes nothing away from a Heatherton side that is looming as the main threat to leaders Dingley.

Heatherton 62 (Beth Wilson 45, Emma Thompson 7, Charlotte Howard 6, Karli Foster 4) defeated Oakleigh District 28 (Bella Riddell 17, Gabby Dwyer 11)

Caulfield v Cheltenham

Cheltenham came steaming out of the blocks in this game, looking the fresher of the two sides after their bye the previous round.  Running hard, presenting to the ball carrier and moving the ball quickly and accurately.  They were willing to do the required work off the ball as well, and with Anna Donnelly and Lauren Hucker having excellent quarters in defence Cheltenham went to the first break 12-7 to the good.  The second quarter continued the trend, with Cheltenham moving the ball well up the flanks while Caulfield looked to work the ball in and out of the centre corridor.  The Rosellas continued in the ascendancy and extended their lead to 23-14 at half time.

It is in the third quarter where the game turned on its head.  Tiffany McConnell and Jemima Price began to dominate in the middle of the court and Sophie O’Shea had one of those quarters where it seemed impossible for her to miss.  Throw in excellent defensive efforts by the reliable pair of Rachel Doughty and Phoebe Naughton and Caulfield turned the game around to the point where they went to the final change a goal in front.

The final quarter was a real thrust and parry affair as one side then the other hit the scoreboard.  Scores were level at the nine minute mark before Alex Siedle and then Rylee Hamilton converted to give Cheltenham the lead for the first time since late in the third term, but Sophie O’Shea was not to be denied for Caulfield, netting twice to bring the game back to parity with a minute and a half left.  Both sides had their opportunities before Sophie gave Caulfield the lead with seven seconds to play.  Cheltenham took the ball forward and Alex Siedle had a shot from the very perimeter of the circle to secure the draw.  However, this difficult shot hit the rim and bounced safely clear, allowing Caulfield to take the points by the narrowest of margins.

Caulfield 36 (Sophie O’Shea 33, Meg Collins 2, Kate Rossiter 1) defeated Cheltenham 35 (Alex Siedle 17, Rylee Hamilton 14, Casey Evans 4)

Points Table: Dingley 24; Heatherton 20; Oakleigh District 16; Cheltenham, Mordialloc, Caulfield 8; St Pauls 0


Murrumbeena took on an improving Dingley and took control of the game in the first quarter, taking a six-goal lead to the first change. Although Dingley got close after half time, Murrumbeena steadied in the final stages to win by 47-40. In a battle between two of the division’s top markswomen, Alice Williams scored 33 times for Murrumbeena and Bianca Waras-Carstensen 29 for Dingley. Lynne Moyes also netted 33 times as Caulfield led all the way in beating Keysborough by 58-33. Oakleigh District consolidated their place in the four with a convincing 34-24 win over Cheltenham, while St Kilda City got the better of a gutsy Mordialloc, winning by 53-46.

Points Table: Caulfield 18; Heatherton, Oakleigh District, Murrumbeena 16; Cheltenham 10; Keysborough 6; St Kilda City 5; Dingley 3; Mordialloc 0


St Kilda City played Doveton Eagles in a top-of-the-table division three clash. City took a two-goal lead to the first break, with the Eagles reversing this scoreline at half time. The third quarter was all City though, and they were able to hold their three-goal lead to the final siren in a 39-36 victory. Dingley flexed some considerable muscle, with Amelia Vise scoring 35 goals and Megan Piper 31 in their 66-28 thumping of St Pauls. Frankston Dolphins took on Cheltenham in a game where there was never more than a couple of goals between the teams, and the Dolphins overturned a one goal three-quarter time deficit to secure a 35-35 draw. Caulfield won their game against Black Rock in the first quarter; their six-goal quarter time lead mirrored in the 39-33 final margin. It was the second half, however, that gave South Yarra the points against Murrumbeena. Scores were level at half time but the Yarras were much too strong after the main break in winning the battle of the Lions by 48-37.

Points Table: St Kilda City 20; Doveton Eagles, Murrumbeena 16; South Yarra 18 (one match extra played); Dingley, Frankston Dolphins 10; Caulfield 9; Cheltenham 6; Black Rock 2; St Pauls 0



St Kilda City travelled down the freeway to the Olive Road courts to meet Doveton Eagles, and took the points back home with them, going to the first break level but winning the last three quarters narrowly in a 49-44 victory. CPL came from behind to beat third-placed Mordialloc, and in doing so retained top spot with their 42-41 win. Springvale Districts also had to overhaul a good lead against Heatherton, but this they did, winning the final quarter by eight in winning by 40-33, while Clayton had to play a full four quarters to shake off a game Bentleigh by 42-38. In the final match Felicity Dawkins scored a season-high 68 goals in East Brighton’s 73-37 win over Oakleigh District. Teagan Laurenson scored 36 of Oakleigh’s 37 goals in this game.  Keysborough had the week off in this round.

Points Table: CPL 22; East Brighton 18; Mordialloc, St Kilda City, Clayton 12; Doveton Eagles 10; Springvale Districts 8; Heatherton, Oakleigh District 6; Bentleigh 4; Keysborough 2 (5)



South Yarra were made to work hard for their win over Mordialloc, leading by only two at three-quarter time before steadying to win by 44-38. Table-topping Caulfield had no such trouble with St Kilda City; Jodie Brown scoring 33 and Barbara Traeger 30 in their 63-34 triumph. Dingley upset an under-strength Hampton with a 47-38 win over the second placed Hammers, with Nicole Carmeni responsible for 44 of their 47 goals. Lyndhurst were relatively untroubled in defeating Bentleigh by 41-29, while Doveton Eagles led all day in removing Aspendale Arrows from the top four with their 47-23 victory.  Lyndale had the bye.

Points Table: Caulfield, Hampton 18; Doveton Eagles, South Yarra 12; Aspendale Arrows 14 (played one match extra); Lyndhurst, Bentleigh, Dingley 8; St Kilda City 5; Mordialloc 2; Lyndale 0



St Kilda City knocked Doveton Eagles off the top of the table with their 42-34 win on the Saturday morning at Olive Road. Doveton started well but City had taken the lead just before half time and were never to let it go. Springvale Districts well-drilled defence came to the fore in their convincing 47-18 win over East Brighton, while Murrumbeena’s multi-pronged attack was too much for Dingley, the Lions winning by 56-22. Highett turned around a six-goal three-quarter time deficit to beat Caulfield by 42-39. Heatherton were always in control of a high-scoring encounter with Lyndhurst before finally winning by 71-50. Verity Sheppard scored 46 times for Heatherton, with Aleysha King registering 38 goals for Lyndhurst in a good old-fashioned shootout.  Parkdale Vultures had the bye this week.

Points Table: Heatherton, Doveton Eagles, Springvale Districts, Murrumbeena 14; Caulfield, Parkdale Vultures, St Kilda City 8; Highett 6; Dingley 4; Lyndhurst 2



Mordialloc kept Cheltenham to one solitary goal in the opening quarter while rattling on 13 of their own. They continued this dominance to win by 52-14. St Kilda City established a winning lead in the first half, scoring an important 37-28 win over Springvale Districts. Heatherton’s win over Skye was built on a dominant third quarter, which cancelled out Skye’s quarter time lead and carried them to an exciting 37-36 win that keeps them in touch in the race to the finals. South Yarra’s dominant 64-25 eclipse of Hallam keeps them on top of the table, while second-placed Hampton were similarly impressive in their 69-14 defeat of Keysborough, riding on the back of 49 goals from Caitlyn Ewing. CPL had the week off.

Points Table: South Yarra 20; Hampton 22 (played one match extra); Springvale Districts 16; St Kilda City 15; Skye 12; Heatherton, Mordialloc 8; Hallam 2; Keysborough 1; CPL, Cheltenham 0



Cheltenham won every quarter but were made to work hard to do so by a gallant Dandenong, with Cheltenham winning by 37-26. A well-organised Bentleigh defence did a power of work in keeping Lyndale to just 13 goals while their shooters managed 28 of their own. South Yarra won their match with Frankston Dolphins in the second half, the scores having been level at half time before South Yarra won by 35-29. Caulfield led St Pauls by 27-1 at half time, and while the Saints were much improved after half time Caulfield were still able to win by 47-12, while Dingley remained atop the Division 8 ladder with their comfortable 50-28 victory over Doveton Eagles.

Points Table: Dingley 20; Cheltenham 16; South Yarra 14; Doveton Eagles, 12; Caulfield, Frankston Dolphins 10; Dandenong, Bentleigh 8; Lyndale, St Pauls 0



Black Rock lost their first quarter against Dingley but won the rest in a 47-29 win. Oakleigh District were dominant all day in beating Lyndhurst by 47-26, with Brooke Wiramanaden registering 40 of those goals. Ariana Hearst scored 36 goals and Ellie Williamson 35 as Murrumbeena walloped Mordialloc by 71-27, while Highett established a big early lead before coasting to a 44-28 win over Parkdale Vultures.

Points Table: Hampton Park, Hampton 18; Murrumbeena 16; Parkdale Vultures 12; Black Rock 14 (played one match extra); Highett 12; Oakleigh District 10; Mordialloc 4; Dingley 2; Lyndhurst 0



Oakleigh District retained top spot but through percentage only, establishing an early lead and maintaining it through the day to beat fourth-placed Clayton by 30-24. Hampton are level on points with the District, having won a close tussle with Springvale Districts Blue by 35-32. Hampton Park won all four quarters over Springvale Districts Red in their 37-23 victory, while Doveton Eagles put on a fine defensive display in beating Dandenong by 43-10. Keysborough won the final match over Heatherton by 40-27.

Points Table: Oakleigh District, Hampton 16; Heatherton 14; Clayton, Hampton Park 12; Keysborough 10; Doveton Eagles 8; Springvale Districts Blue, Dandenong 4; Springvale Districts Red 2

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