Blue Wren edge out Central

A RESERVES ACTION: Caitlin Oliphant passes the ball in Saturday's A Reserves clash between Central Risdon and Solomontown.
A RESERVES ACTION: Caitlin Oliphant passes the ball in Saturday's A Reserves clash between Central Risdon and Solomontown.

You could have mistaken the game at John Pirie Stadium on Friday night between reigning premiers Blue Wrens and Central Risdon as a look into what this year's grand final might come to.

Both sides ran out of the gates and into quality netball all down the court.

As always goalies at both ends had an impact in Centrals' Tegan Edwards and Penny Malchow and Blue Wrens' Kirby Symons and Cara Feibig, able to not only get it through the ring but both ends capitalised on rebounds.

Again in the centre court the hard tussle between a versatile Blue Wrens line up in Tiah Peek, Jordan Sladdin and new face Chloe Holmes proved an advantage to Blue Wrens on many occasions, not to be outdone by Centrals own Ashleigh Possingham, Alana Pine and Shalia Brusnahan who all fought hard against their opposition and onto the ball, gelling well in their second game of the year.

Although this game belonged to the defenders; Blue Wrens Ashe Haldane and Samarah Wark have an uncanny ability to work their way around their opposition and onto intercept after intercept, holding space and getting their three feet in the same breath.

These girls did not make it easy for their goalies.

Centrals Tammy Pine and Emma Tolson also worked tirelessly to ensure that Blue Wrens had to work it around the ring into a better goalie position, contesting high balls and hands on the low bounce passes proving difficult for any goalie combination.

Blue Wrens over the line in a close one 52 defeated Central Risdon 51. Best for Wren Chloe Holmes, Ashe Haldane, Kirby Symons and Best for Centrals Emma Tolson, Penny Malchow, Tegan Edwards

The second game saw Port take the court for the first time this year against St Marks Celtic.

SMC going into the game with an unchanged line-up and no changes. SMC showed more of what we usually see from them, with a strong game from Mille Tubb and Ashleigh Schrader scoring consistently and often.

SMC's mid court worked well as always driving the ball up through the centre and having an impact with intercepts throughout the game in Emma Hayes, Brooke Caputo and Chelsea McBride.

Calalou Klinger having another great game although staying in GK she still dominates her position along with ably assisted GD Maddi Caputo.

Port having a few new and old faces return this year, Ellen Pole and Jordan Mezzino in goals to start with, working hard to get the ball in first time as rebounds proving hard over the height of SMC defence.

Lauren Lowe, Merina Caputo, Hannah Watson and Erini Seindanis all sharing part in the mid court.

Merina and Lauren working well in the centre area together. Port also have height in their defence this year with return of Kelsey Featherstonhaugh and Sally Penny who after adding to her family has seen her back out in the green and white this year.

Young gun Timeka Cox getting on the court in the last quarter was not out of place.

Timeka is an up and comer and has the smarts of a good, steady netball head at such a young age.

SMC running away 52 def Ports 34, best for SMC Ash Schrader, Millie Tubb and Calalou Klinger and ports best Ellen Pole, Merina Caputo and Sally Penny.

As young girls we are taught that netball is a "non-contact sport", although these days a lot can be said for contest vs contact.

From an umpire's eyes, it's great netball when players can contest that ball.

Lucky for us this form of netball is starting to hit our border line and hopefully it only strengthens the game itself.

It will be the players that can adapt to this type of netball that will benefit the most, shifting it from a goalie orientated sport into a defender sport.

Defenders often have more impact on the game these days than ever before.

Port Pirie Netball Association are also currently training for the Spencer Gulf Carnival held in Whyalla this year, with teams in U11s, U15s and U17s, Pirie is hoping to come home with some carnival wins as our local talent will be on show on May 19.