The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Netballers find their feet
Wimmera netball league is back in action and teams are quickly assessing their position with three homeand-away rounds remaining.
Finals positioning for leading teams is at the top of the agenda after a revealing return to the court last week.
Dimboola hangs on grimly to fifth spot on the ladder after a 42-51 loss to Warrack Eagles last week and can expect little reprieve on Saturday against ladder-leaders Southern Mallee Giants.
The Roos, who had strong performers in goalers Nicole Polycarpou and Billie-jo Barber last week, appear safe in the five, but third-placed Warrack Eagles’ run to the finals suggests the Nine Creeks crew can get higher than fourth.
The Giants, fresh from a successful 33-31 win over Horsham, would need to have an off day and Dimboola be at its best for the Roos to cause an upset, but this season has been full of uncertainty.
Depending on how the match progresses, Dimboola might be able to use the game to experiment with match-ups or combinations against a competition yardstick.
The Roos come up against a Giants side that had defenders Caitlin Hickey, out of the circle and Trudi Cook, wing defence, leading last week’s charge.
Horsham Saints, at the same time, are sitting sixth and a 43-56 loss to Ararat last week was a pre-finals disaster for the Meadowbank camp.
The Saints now run into a confident Warrack Eagles who after their return win are
likely to be quietly confident of victory. Molly Stewart and Briodi Mckenzie are gelling under the offensive goals for the Eagles, who also appear to be adequately filling injury gaps.
Eagles defenders Jenna Schulz and Leiah Mckenzie are sure to make life on the court difficult for Abby Hallam and Jess Farrow.
One of the game’s highlights will be a centre-court battle between the Eagles’ Sarah Spicer and Emma Koschitzke and Ashlee Grace and Megan Byrne.
The Saints would still be hurting after running into a seventh-placed Ararat team, which can only get stronger and has signalled a warning to the rest of the competition for 2022.
The Rats, although frustrated with some of their losses, have shown they can beat or get close to teams in the five.
Ararat takes on ninth-placed Nhill on Saturday and form suggests it will be too good for the Tigers, who had a bye last week and an extended break.
A good tussle between two young guns Jesse Bligh and Jenna Schneider through centre should emerge and Ararat’s Racquel Scott and Rebecca Skrabl will be tough defenders for the Tigers to get past.
Minyip-murtoa, sitting eighth, plays second-placed Horsham and will find the going tough despite being at home at Murtoa.
The Burras took their contest up to Stawell last week, eventually falling short 43-56, but will confront a rebounding Demons keen to re-establish winning form.
Horsham defenders Jedda Heard and Marnie Lehmann will present a tough assignment for the Burras to bypass and goalers Emma Buwalda and Georgie Carberry will test Burra defenders Stacey Arnold and Emily Langley
Meg Cashin, Minyip-murtoa, and Georgia Hiscock, Horsham, should provide a competitive battle through the centre.
Stawell has a bye.