A close game between Central Risdon and St Mark Celtic on Friday night, kicked off the final round of netball in the Port Pirie Netball Association.
The first quarter was very ‘up-and-back’, and an unusually low scoring affair as Saint Marks held a two goal lead at quarter time.
The two teams, with their usual line up’s kept the contest tight, as St Marks were only able to extend their lead by one goal at half time.
With both coaches backing their original combinations, the girls took to the court and the crowd expected that this one was going to go down to the wire.
Unfortunately for the Centrals girls, St Marks were able to surge ahead to lead by a healthy nine goals at three quarter time, and the green and gold were all of a sudden, nudged slightly out of the contest.
Centrals Coach Teresa Tancock initiated the swap between her two goalers Sammy Pine and Penny Malchow to get more out of the goal shooter position and the results were immediate.
Pine was able to get free of Calalou Klinger, who consistently dominates the defensive goal ring and Centrals began to score.
However it was too little too late as Centrals won the quarter, but lost the game 41-47. Best for St Mark Celtic were goalers Millie Tubb and Ashleigh Schrader while Klinger again gathered votes. Mid- court player Alana Pine was judged best for Centrals followed by the consistent Sam Pine and Alyse Edwards in defence.
In the other match of the round Solomontown and Blue Wren did battle.
After beating Blue Wren in the second round by four goals, Solomontown were looking for another solid performance to secure the two points.
Missing wing attack Lilli Rasheed, who has concluded her university placement in Port Pirie and wing defence Gracen Dyer, the Solomontown team looked a little different, as they called on 2017 premiership player Tayla Stevens and again listed wing defence Talisha Warne in their side.
A change in the Blue Wren side was also evident, as Tiah Peek moved into the centre position while Gracie Peterson took over the wing attack position.
This catalysed a huge first quarter effort from Blue Wren as they took a massive 11 goal lead into quarter time, on the back of some free flowing netball and an increase in scoring opportunities in attack.
Captain Kirby Symons was back to her usual best, sinking goals from all over the ring in a great show of leadership and confidence.
Solomontown struggled to get any consistency in their game and again suffered a further eight goal loss in the second quarter.
However, whatever was said at the half time huddle by coach Justina Adams must have put a bit of fire in the Cats belly as their competitive spirit came back to life.
The third quarter was even at fifteen goals apiece lead by the defensive team of Chloe Knibbs and Emily Gray. Knibbs was everywhere after half time, impacting not only the pressure in the goal circle, but cutting off passes across the ring and making it hard for the Blue Wren feeders to get a good look at their goalers.
Captain Jacqui Spaddavechia also stood up in the second half, shooting and rebounding well, limiting the opportunities for the Blue Wren defence to turn the ball over.
The last quarter was won by Solomontown rounding out a much better second half, as Blue Wren ran out winners 65-49.
Best for Blue Wren were goal attack Kirby Symons, Peek and Peterson while Knibbs, Spaddavechia and Gray performed well for the Cats.
Blue Wren 14, Central Risdon 10, Solomontown 8, St Mark Celtic 6, Port 0
Blue Wren 14, Central Risdon 12, Solomontown 6, Central Risdon Green 2, St Mark Celtic 2
Blue Wren 17, St Mark Celtic Blue 11, Solomontown 9, Central Risdon 8, St Mark Celtic Gold 7, Port 6
Blue Wren 16, Port 8 , Solomontown 8, Central Risdon 4, St Mark Celtic 2
St Mark Celtic 18, Blue Wren 14, Central Risdon Green 12, Solomontown 10, Blue Wren Blue 2, Central Risdon 0
St Mark Celtic 18, Central Risdon 16, Solomontown White 10, Blue Wren 8, Ports 6, Solomontown 0
St Mark Celtic Blue 20, Port 14, Solomontown 9, Central Risdon Green 8, St Mark Celtic 4, Central Risdon 1
Blue Wren 20, St Mark Celtic 16, Central Risdon 8, Port 6, Solomontown 4, Central Risdon Green 1
13 & Under
St Mark Red 12, St Mark Celtic 10, St Mark Blue 8, Central Risdon Green 6, Central Risdon 4
12 & Under
St Mark Red 12 , Central Risdon Green 12 , St Mark Blue 8, Central Risdon 4, Solomontown 4
11 & Under Div 1
St Mark Gold 19, St Mark Red 13, Central Risdon 6, Blue Wren 2
11 & Under Div 2
Solomontown 12, St Mark Gold 11, St Mark Celtic 10, Risdon 7, Blue Wren 0