Race is on for top six spots

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

Com­pe­ti­tion for the top six spots is be­gin­ning to heat up as the mid­dle of the Hor­sham Dis­trict A Grade net­ball sea­son ap­proaches.

While La­harum and Na­timuk United re­main un­de­feated in the top two spots on the lad­der and Har­row-bal­moral is all but cer­tain to play fi­nals in third place, plenty of teams are jock­ey­ing for po­si­tion be­hind them.

Only 12 pre­mier­ship points divide fourth­placed Eden­hope-ap­s­ley from ninth-placed Pimpinio, al­though the gulf in per­cent­age is sig­nif­i­cantly wider.

Be­hind the Saints in the last two fi­nals spots are Kal­kee and Swifts, while Jeparit-rainbow and No­rad­juha-quan­tong are just out­side in sev­enth and eighth place re­spec­tively.

Below Pimpinio, Ru­pa­nyup and Tay­lors Lake sit at the foot of the lad­der with one win be­tween them.

The race for sixth place is the clos­est, with the Bag­gies, Storm and Bombers all sit­ting on 16 points.

Swifts is in the best po­si­tion de­spite a 75-39 beat­ing from top side La­harum at the week­end, with a per­cent­age gap of more than 14 over Jeparit-rainbow.

The Bag­gies were un­able to con­tain the fire­power of the Demons on Satur­day de­spite the best ef­forts of goal de­fence Sarah Morris, who had a tough match-up against Mad­die Ire­dell.

Caitlin Story recorded her sec­ond 50-plus-goal game of the sea­son to lead La­harum.

Jeparit-rainbow and No­rad­juha-quan­tong are also com­ing off losses to Eden­hope-ap­s­ley and Har­row-bal­moral re­spec­tively.

Lit­tle sep­a­rated the Storm and Saints in the first quar­ter when they met at Rainbow, but Eden­hope-ap­s­ley ben­e­fit­ted from a strong sec­ond

quar­ter by goalie Ellie Thomas to build a seven-goal buf­fer by half time and go on to win 47-39.

It was a sim­i­lar story for the Bombers, who com­peted re­mark­ably well against the pow­er­ful Roos be­fore be­ing brushed aside in the sec­ond quar­ter of a 60-32 loss.

Coach Ebonie Sal­ter was ex­cel­lent as usual for Har­row-bal­moral, fight­ing an en­gross­ing bat­tle against No­rad­juha-quan­tong’s Lucy Brand in the sec­ond half.

Kal­kee shored up its place in the top six with a 70-47 win against Pimpinio, mak­ing it four wins from the team’s past five games.

Hayley Thomas led the charge for the Kees at goal shooter, com­bin­ing well with Jenna By­wa­ters to form a deadly tan­dem.

Pimpinio goalie Jenelle Baker got the bet­ter of Kal­kee de­fender Sarah Johns to fin­ish with 26 goals in a los­ing side, and Erin Ha­bel tried hard to con­tain Thomas and By­wa­ters.

Na­timuk United had lit­tle trou­ble against Ru­pa­nyup, lead­ing 33-6 at half time be­fore coast­ing to a 67-23 fi­nal score.

Jo Tay­lor com­pletely con­trolled the de­fen­sive goal ring for the Ewes and Michelle Trigg was all over the court play­ing at cen­tre.

Hayley Read­ing scored six goals at goal at­tack be­fore switch­ing to cen­tre in the last quar­ter and was Ru­pa­nyup’s best.

This week­end, the Pan­thers will take on No­rad­juha-quan­tong, which has plenty to play for as it tries to keep it­self in the fi­nals race.

Jeparit-rainbow will find the go­ing tough against La­harum, Pimpinio has a daunt­ing task ahead against Har­row-bal­moral and Kal­kee will have an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue its hot run of form against win­less Tay­lors Lake.

Eden­hope-ap­s­ley will host Na­timuk United while Swifts has a bye.

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