By David Nagel
The humble netball became a UFO on Saturday…an ‘Uncontrollable Flying Object’…as strong winds made round 10 of the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition (WGFNC) a tricky affair.
But the chilly breeze couldn’t stop some competitive netball from being played, with Dalyston emerging as the big winners after a terrific 53-45 victory over Nar Nar Goon.
This one would give us a great indication of the biggest challenger to the dominance of Inverloch and Tooradin this year, and it took the full four quarters to work out who that would be.
Dalyston led early, 14-10 at quarter time, before the Goon girls bounced back with a 12-10 second term.
A pulsating 13-13 third quarter saw the Magpies two goals in front at three-quarter time.
The Magpies played a brilliant last quarter, with coach Alana McRae (C), Ruby Brosnan (WA) and Sophie Scott (WD) playing with fearless intent through the midcourt, providing Gemma Thomas (GS) with her opportunity to shine.
The strong winds seem to settle at Thomas’s end of the court only, as she nailed everything in the last quarter with 14 of her team’s 16 goals.
At the other end, Chloe (GK) and Olivia Bramley (GD) made life difficult for the Goon goalers, who scored just 10 between them for the quarter.
Chantelle Dale (C) tried to lift her team in the dying stages, but the Magpies walked away with the very tasty prize of third place on the ladder.
The Goon should bounce back this week, on a trip to Korumburra, while the Magpies will head into the bye with a strong win over Warragul Industrials under their belts.
Phillip Island has slipped quietly into sixth place on the ladder after the Bulldogs rode a fast start to a 48-41 success over Korumburra-Bena.
Both teams scored 31 goals after quarter time, but the Bulldogs did the damage early with a 17-10 onslaught that the Giants couldn’t keep pace with.
Ella Duggan (GS) and coach Christie Edwards (GA) were at their brilliant best in the opening exchanges, while Anthea Bennett (GK) made sure there were no nasty surprises at the opposite end of the court.
Giants, such as Ash Cuff (C), Georgia Hamilton (WD) and Felicity Fox (WA) woke up after quarter time…but the damage had been done.
Phillip Island faces a tricky trip to Garfield this week, while the Giants host the Goon.
Kooweerup is in its rightful fifth place on the ladder after the Demons scored a comfortable 45-30 victory over Garfield at Denhams Road.
The Demons have lost four games this year to the teams that sit above them, but have a perfect record against the rest.
Kate Sidebottom (C) had her team wound up for this one, with the Demons skipping out to a 25-13 lead at half time…locking away the four points.
Ash Murphy (GA) and Jayda McConkey (GS) were solid four-quarter contributors for the Demons, while the three Ash’s – Hyde (GK), Bowden (GD) and Snell (WD) – did well to square things away for the Stars in the second half.
The Demons should continue their winning ways against Bunyip this week, while Garfield host Phillip Island in a very winnable game.
Tooradin-Dalmore tuned up for this week’s massive clash against Inverloch with a resounding 62-31 victory over Bunyip.
Alex Maher was brilliant for the Seagulls, scoring 44 goals in three quarters on a day when the breeze played havoc with the radar of all shooters in the competition.
Maher was a class above, while Ebony Mason and Jess Maher were at their defensive best, as they fine-tuned their combination for the epic test against the Sea Eagles this week.
Aimee Wright (C), Lisa Proctor (WA) and Madi McDonell (GA) tried their best for Bunyip…who host Kooweerup this week.
Reigning-champions Inverloch-Kongwak have overcome a brave challenge from Cora Lynn, winning 47-22 in near gale-force conditions at Inverloch.
Some fresh names are starting to appear on the Sea Eagles team list, with youngsters such as Amity McInnes (GK) and Olivia Cumming (WD) getting exposure at the top level.
Playing alongside a star such as Renee Pilkington (GD) is sure to fast-track their development.
The Sea eagles were always in control of this one, but Cobras like Moesha Griffin (WD), Miller Willis (C) and Karla Brook (WA) can walk away with their heads well-and-truly held high.
And Kilcunda Bass is knocking on the door of the top six after a 75-25 win over Warragul Industrials.
The Panthers have now won four of their last six games and are a big chance of playing finals.
Isabella Santorini (GS) posted some big numbers for the Panthers, scoring 56 goals despite the blustery conditions.
The Panthers head to Cora Lynn this week, while the Dusties host Dalyston.
TIPS – Round 11
Saturday 24 June
Bunyip v KOOWEERUP
Cora Lynn v KILCUNDA BASS
GARFIELD v Phillip Island
Korumburra Bena v NAR NAR GOON
Tooradin-Dalmore v INVERLOCH-KONGWAK
Warragul Industrials v DALYSTON