Games hits new heights
THE season has flown by, so it’s important to take a moment to reflect in the heat of the battle.
Netball, and the quality of the game, continues to improve in the twin towns and that was seen on the courts over the numerous Saturday and sometimes Sunday games of the past six months.
Let’s take a look back on how the best of each club, the A grade competition played out over both the Murray Netball League and Picola and District Netball League.
The Eagles soared in what should have been a trying time for the club.
United flourished under their own low expectations, due to new coach Rohan Starkey stepping in to rebuild the majority of the A grade side.
What eventuated from all of that was a slow start — which is to be expected as an amalgamation of 2017’s B grade and completely new players took to the court.
From there the Eagles dominated nearly every side they faced (bar Moama).
To finish in the eight, and make the second week of finals is a fantastic effort for the side, and they should be proud of how they represented the club throughout the season.
In stark contrast to the Eagles, the Cats had a season to forget.
Of their 16 games this year, LBU collected three wins and a draw.
Finishing the year just one win ahead of bottom-placed Elmore, the Cats finished 14 points off the playoffs.
Cats coach Amanda Walker didn’t have huge expectations at the beginning of the season, looking to build a platform on which her side could grow in future years.
And it seems to be they have achieved that in part. They would have wanted at least a couple more wins chalked up before the start of September, but overall not the worst.
In the first year of the new-look combined Picola and District Netball League, United adapted well to reach finals after many failed attempts in previous years.
The Blues set a goal to be inside the eight come September time, and they were.
A fantastic achievement for a team that has missed out on a finals berth for years by such a little margin.
Leesa Hooppell’s A-graders completed their mission, and with an even ledger at the end of the normal season, have a great platform to build greater success in years to come.
Here’s hoping the Blues retain the majority of their squad heading in to the 2019 season.
Oh, what could have been. After all these years of dominance, it turned out that injuries would be the Blues downfall.
After starting off with five-straight wins, the Blues started to have issues, as their more senior players started dropping like flies.
Coach Dylan Nexhip threw some players into the mix, including naming some juniors who will no doubt be a big addition to the team in coming seasons.
But the season ended with the Blues essentially falling into the finals, and going out in the first week.
It wasn’t completely in their control, but unfortunately this has to be seen as a failure for the Blues.
RIVALS ON COURT: Echuca United’s Amy Sherlock tries to intercept a pass intended for Tongala’s Abby Pettifer in the MNL A grade netball match. Photo:
ALL IN: netball. Mathoura’s Madalyn McKellar and Picola United’s Emma Greaves clash in PDFNL A grade Photo:
BOMBER BLOCKADE: Leitchville-Gunbower’s Tahli Brereton looks to block LBU’s Michelle McIntosh in HDFNL A Grade netball.Photo: