ROUND three of the River Murray netball season resulted in cool, blustery conditions to start the day before fining up for most of the senior competition.
Despite the inclement conditions, spectators were once again treated to some exciting games of A grade netball, with first rate performances from many of the players.
Imperials, who have the bye on Saturday, had a convincing win against Jervois with no sudden surprises at the end of the game, as was the case in the football.
Imperials are traditionally renowned for making a great start off the blocks to open the game, and this was the case against the Bluds on Saturday.
Jervois play Ramblers this Saturday which could be the game of the round.
Mypolonga is up against Meningie this week and were satisfied with a 10-goal win against Tailem Bend last week.
Tailem were leading the game at the first break but the Tigers settled to lead at every other break.
Sheridan O’Brien returned to the court for Mypolonga for the first time this season and will be an added advantage to the already strong Mypo line-up.
The final score didn’t truly represent the quality of close netball played by all on court in this game, and Tailem showed they are capable of taking stronger teams to the limit.
Tailem Bend will face the Mannum Roos at Mannum this week
Mannum had their first win on Anzac Day against a determined Ramblers team.
Players from both teams never gave up which showed the true spirit of the day.
There was some inspiring and intensive play as we have come to expect every Anzac Day, but this year Mannum had the upper hand.
Tracey Loechel from Mannum, was chosen by River Murray life members Charley Close and Shirley Schubert as the worthy recipient of the Anzac Day medal.
Game times: 12.45pm – B grade and intermediate, 2pm – A grade and C grade and 3.15pm – A reserves.
Mypolonga v Meningie
The Tigers go in to this game with plenty of confidence after being undefeated so far and the inclusion of experienced defender Sheridan O’Brien.
Meningie have nothing to lose this week and with fresh legs from the bye last week, may push the Tigers for four quarters.
Coach Annie Hughes played O’Brien in wing defence last week, away from her usual goal defence position.
This gave the Mypolonga midcourt more height and balance.
O’Brien reads the play beautifully and her long reach enables her to make clean intercepts.
Alongside O’Brien in defence is Kate Nolan in keeper, who played a brilliant game last week against Tailem Bend and Brittany White who will be returning from holidays this week to possibly take up the goal defence position.
Georgia Steinert is another versatile player who can be rotated easily through the three defensive positions for Mypo, so coach Hughes has a variety of defensive options.
Meningie has reliable shooters in Marni Hood and Stacey Peckover.
Both girls are young but have a good eye for goals and will need to make every goal count against Nolan and White in the goal circle.
The midcourt combination for Meningie is agile and quick to drive the ball through the centre court towards their goals.
Eden Harkness and Krystal Gibbs work well together and play a physical game which frustrates many opponents, but will need to be focussed and ready to run against the likes of Stacey Kempe, Ashleigh Horsnell and Kelsey Gepp for the Tigers. Mypolonga’s mid court players have dominated in most games this season and will be hard to control if given a free run.
New player for Meningie, Trish Hertel has made her presence felt in our league.
As a defensive player, she is tall and strong and can rebound well.
Working with Bec Longden under goals, this pair has improved their pressure defence and will attack any loose or stray balls.
Kara Bolt and Zoe Gepp, shooters for Mypo, had a rocky start against Tailem Bend in the first quarter last week and will be looking to reap a swag of goals from the outset.
Both girls are short in comparison to other shooters but capable of shooting over tall opponents with ease.
Bottom line: Meningie has definitely improved its all round game this year but will struggle to contain Mypolonga in a few positions.
My tip: Mypolonga.
Ramblers v Jervois
The Roosters host the Bluds at home this week and this could possibly be the game of the round.
Both teams have strong attack lines and both have youth, speed and experience across the court.
Jervois has a valuable goal circle combination in Caitlin Liebich and Jo Hill.
These girls can shoot well and also rebound those they miss.
Jess Bell in centre has been impressive this season.
She feeds her goalers quickly and will run out a whole game in the centre position.
Steph Lubcke, centre for Ramblers, should cause Bell some grief.
Lubcke is a skilled player who positions herself well on court but will also keep up with Bell’s speed.
Ramblers’ Nikki Dougall will assist Lubcke in the midcourt but will also be up against the experienced Helen Partridge for Jervois.
This battle will be well worth watching with Dougall and her athletic ability and Partridge and her calm, experienced play.
New coach Tessa Thurston is playing a defence position for Jervois and has formed a good bond with fellow defender Maddie McGinty in goal keeper.
With this tall defence line these girls have the ability to deflect many passes in to their opposition and the speed to defend from any position.
Tania McFee, Ramblers’ goal attack, has been a consistent shooter this season and will generally get her own rebound if she misses, and still score from it.
She is a tough player and won’t let Thurston have the advantage on Saturday
Ramblers’ caoch Leanne Featherstonhaugh will be determined to get her team a win against Jervois this week, after so many close games, and put the Roosters on the points board at last.
Bottom line: This game should be a ripper. If both teams play well, the points could go either way. The lead in this game could change many times.
My tip: Ramblers, but in a very close game.
Mannum v Tailem Bend
Tailem Bend started very well against Mypo last week and will need to do the same against Mannum this week out at the Roos courts. Mannum have now tasted success after comfortably beating Ramblers on Anzac day and will be keen for more.
Denise Edwards, Tailem Bend’s coach, has a solid group of girls to play and continued depth on her bench, giving her many alternatives to rotate players as she pleases.
Mannum also has depth and talent in their team, so it is hard to guess who will be playing in what position.
Mannum’s Jaime-Lee Paterson was played in both goal shooter and goal keeper last week, which shows the diversity of this team.
Playing coach Amy Loechel and new recruit Abby Williams are bonding well in the goal circle and could cause problems for Tailem’s defenders Hayley Davids and Kylie Matthewson, as they rarely miss goals.
The Tailem Bend defenders are really tight defenders and will need to be at their best to stop the ball getting in to the goal circle and taking away their opponents shooting opportunities.
At the other end, Mel Edwards for the Eagles will shoot at a high percentage, as she does week after week, but may find it a lot tougher against the might and height of Tracy Loechel, Kellie Klose and Paterson.
Mannum’s wing defence Jemma Woollard is a quiet achiever and should have a really competitive game against Tailem Bend’s, Bec Sterry.
Woollard and Sterry are both consistent players who are valuable team members doing the right things at the right times.
The match up of the game will be the two centre players, Charise Bristow for the Eagles and Kelly Allen, Mannum.
This will definitely make for a fast-paced game as both girls are runners and never give up.
Allen has great passing skills especially into her goalies and Bristow can intercept the most difficult of passes.
Bottom line: Tailem will work Mannum hard from the first whistle and Mannum will need to compose themselves while battling the pressure of Tailem’s tight defence.
Once Mannum settle they will play at their own pace and do the leading instead of the following.
My tip: Mannum.
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