JUMP­ING FOR JOY:

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: Bil­lie Vo­gelzang

A sport­ing win al­ways brings out ex­cite­ment in the play­ers. The open ju­nior net­ball team Earth went through their sea­son un­de­feated, a great thrill for (from left) Catie Bell, Bon­nie Ra­bie, Mil­lie Bell, Faith How­land, Bethany Vo­gelzang, Milly How­land, Alice Te­han, Jacinda Dixon-Rielly, Bella But­ter­worth and coach Judy Dixon.

WHAT a stel­lar sea­son Mans­field’s Earth had win­ning the net­ball Open premier­ship in em­phatic style on Satur­day, de­feat­ing Be­nalla’s Rasp­ber­ries 38 to 19.

Un­de­feated for the sea­son, Earth was con­fi­dent but not cocky and warmed up well, run­ning through their rou­tine to set­tle any ‘big day’nerves but the first few min­utes of play saw missed shots and un­char­ac­ter­is­tic mis­takes.

Rasp­ber­ries ap­plied great pres­sure but Earth even­tu­ally set­tled, with Alice Te­han hold­ing well for lob passes to the post and shoot­ing well.

Earth had a four goal lead at quar­ter time.

Earth with­stood a sec­ond quar­ter chal­lenge and took cru­cial in­ter­cepts in the de­fence end to add to their lead by another three at half time.

Court po­si­tional changes al­tered the dy­namic in Earth’s goal cir­cle with Bethany Vo­gelzang and Faith How­land com­bin­ing beau­ti­fully, fed skil­fully by Bella But­ter­worth at C and Bon­nie Ra­bie at WA.

Fast ball move­ment to play­ers find­ing space was a joy to watch.

Some say games are won in de­fence and ev­ery player com­mit­ted to whole of court pres­sure.

Jacinda Dixon-Rielly ce­mented her au­thor­ity over Rasp­ber­ries’ at­tack ably sup­ported by Mil­lie Bell, Faith How­land (in the first half), Catie Bell and Milly How­land.

The grand fi­nal was played in great spir­its with girls from both teams giv­ing their all in go­ing for the ball.

Beth Vo­gelzang was a well-de­served MVP - a feat she re­peated last year in the year 7 grand fi­nal.

It’s an out­stand­ing ef­fort to be un­de­feated all sea­son in the Open sec­tion of nine teams.

Ev­ery player has to con­trib­ute and com­mit to a shared goal - as they did.

All girls put in at train­ing and ex­tra train­ings - and with a hand­ful of year 7s and novice or green play­ers the im­prove­ment over the sea­son was in­cred­i­ble.

Coach Judy Dixon and team man­ager Bil­lie Vo­gelzang were thrilled with the girls’ ef­forts and self belief.

Co-cap­tains Jacinda and Bethany and vice cap­tain Bella showed great lead­er­ship on and off the court.

The trio can be par­tic­u­larly proud of their back to back un­de­feated premier­ship run.

Go Earth.

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