The River Murray Netball Association A grade senior side kicked off their country championship weekend against Northern Areas.
River Murray looked strong and sharp with Emily Paech and Brianna Burt feeding in quickly and accurately to Kate Treloar and Rachel Gassner in goals.
Northern made changes to their goalers in the second half, to their advantage, and unfortunately Murray’s first-game nerves took over and Northern took the game 32-25.
The second game of the weekend was where River Murray started to settle and play as a team.
The strong defensive efforts from Jessica Crocker and Shayelan Paech at goal defence and keeper, respectively, were rewarded with Murray picking up their first win for the weekend, beating Mallee 25-15.
The third and final game of the Saturday was a nail-biter.
Molly Adler worked the centre court with great speed, picking up loose balls and intercepts along the way.
Going into the second half down by one goal, Burt moved into goals with Gassner, while Treloar moved back into defence alongside Paech.
With level scores throughout the second half, River Murray lost the game to Yorke Peninsula Two by only one goal, 28-27.
River Murray started Sunday morning positioned fifth on the A grade ladder.
The first game of the day was against the first-placed Mid South East team.
Less than a minute into the game playing coach Jemma Woollard, at centre, collided with the opposition, falling to the ground with a season-ending injury.
Wing attack Kimberly Rathjen’s leadership skills and experience shone with the loss of the playing coach, directing play to her younger teammates.
At half time MSE only had a four-goal lead, 11-7.
Unfortunately while Murray bettered their own first half score in the second term, MSE’s goalies were on fire and they took the win 29-15.
Game two against Whyalla and game three against Yorke Peninsula One were tough.
With only eight players available, River Murray couldn’t win a trick.
Whyalla defeated River Murray 20-14; Yorke Peninsula One defeated Murray 34-13.
The fourth and final match of the weekend was against Kowree Naracoorte Tintinara.
With Jemma making it back to the courts in time to coach, albeit on crutches, the girls took to the court fired up and ready to play as a team.
Halfway through Brianna Burt took a thump to the eye, sending her off to the injury bench.
Jodie Burt was playing her absolute best game of the weekend at wing defence; nothing she could do would go her team’s way.
River Murray held their heads high as they walked off the courts with an eight-goal loss 25-17.
Finishing the weekend seventh overall, it was a fabulous weekend of netball with plenty of laughs and tears.
Well done River Murray A grade and get well soon Jemma Woollard.
Player by player
Molly Adler (Imperials): Molly’s strengths lie in the centre court. With great speed and drive, her flow down the court will help settle the senior side. Molly was unavailable for Woodside, but she was looking forward to playing in Adelaide.
Brianna Burt (Jervois): Versatile in the attacking line up. Due to the lack of goalers in the team, is lining up at goal attack on a regular basis. Confident to shoot from anywhere and follows her rebounds well for any unsuccessful long bombs.
Jodie Burt (Jervois): Lining up alongside her sister Brianna, Jodie is best suited to midcourt but can bring some magic to goal defence if needed. Played well at wing defence at Woodside and was an obvious improver over the four games.
Jessica Crocker (Ramblers): A regular on the country champs scene, Jess brings experience to the senior side at such a young age. A through and through defender, Jess’ ability to read the play and take the intercepts out of nowhere are a true asset to the River Murray team.
Rachel Gassner (Ramblers): A late call-up for the River Murray side, Rachel came to the rescue of a side desperate for some goalers. Rachel has stepped up to the A grade side this year for her Mannum team this year and can bring the knowledge and strength she learns from her side to the River Murray team to add great strength in the attack line.
Emily Paech (Mannum): Emily moves into seniors this year after many years as a regular in country champs on a junior level. Wing attack was where Emily found her feet at Woodside, not only feeding with precision into her goalers but applying the strong defensive pressure needed when the ball was against her team.
Shaylelan Paech (Tailem Bend): Unfortunately Shaylelan was a last-minute cancellation to the Woodside carnival due to an injury sustained on court in her Tailem Bend game on the Saturday. Hopefully Shaylelan can rest up and join her side in Adelaide in a fortnight to add to not only the defensive end of her team but can also be thrown in at goal attack if needed.
Kate Treloar (Meningie): Kate adds great body strength to this team. Her height and ability to hold her player and her space in the ring, whether she is goal keeper or goal shooter, is an absolute asset to her side. Kate is showing strong leadership qualities at a young age. Perhaps a coach in the making...
Jemma Woolard (Mannum): As player/coach/captain of this senior side, Jemma shows her maturity and netball knowledge both on and off the court. As the most versatile player in the side, Jemma would prefer to be in the centre court or defending in the goal ring, but playing/coaching in a team that is short on goalers, Jemma can also be thrown in goals to mix things up.
Team manager: Andrea Wegener.
The under 17 River Murray netball representative side had a great time at the country carnival over the long weekend.
They won four out of five games on Saturday which resulted in them being placed in division one, pool A.
On Sunday the team tried hard against strong competition but unfortunately did not progress any further.
The players and entourage had a weekend of good netball, fun and friendship.
Player by player
Gemma Horstmann (Mannum): As captain led from the front, gave her all and was a strong athletic goalie.
Molly Maddaford (Tailem Bend): Beautiful reach to pull balls in – she was reliable over the weekend.
Hannah Taylor (Imperials): Great team player throughout the weekend, was a strong leader in attack and did a lot of work off the ball to make good position.
Tamika Pitcher (Ramblers): Good mover at wing attack with lovely feeding into the goal circle.
Jayme-Lee McKay (Imperials): Quiet achiever with many intercepts and backed up well through the court.
Emily De Michele (Imperials): Injured prior to carnival who continued to support the team helping whenever needed.
Rachel Paech (Mannum): Very reliable gutsy defender who lead strongly out of defence.
Sophie Roberts (Imperials): Circle defender who stepped up over the carnival, reading the ball well intercepting and rebounding.
Tegan Afford (Jervois): Great attacking player with a high work rate who turned over many balls defensively.
The girls coach was Nicky Smith with team manager Michelle Koehler.
River Murray v Port Pirie, 27-17
Great Southern v River Murray, 26-22
River Murray v Far West, 26-17
River Murray v Port Lincoln Two, 26-21
River Murrayv Hills, 17-15
Riverland v River Murray 31-21
KNT v River Murray 28-26
Mid Hills v River Murray 23-19
Western Border v River Murray 33-14
Mid South East v River Murray 15-9
The girls had an excellent weekend of netball and companionship.
On Saturday, the team was faced with some tough competition only winning one out of four games.
The girls started off slow but they kept building each game, they started to settle and we started to see some beautiful sets of play.
The girls got close to their first win early only going down by one goal to North Eastern.
In this game the girls worked hard and the goalies rewarded the players’ hard work with some beautiful goals.
On Sunday, the team was moved into division two, pool A and did not disappoint, walking away with two wins and two losses.
The first game against Mallee was tough as the side were down by six goals but the girls kept working hard and got turnover after turnover to finish the game in front by one goal.
The team kept getting better as the day went on.
The girls had a tough last game and though they were tired they did not give up.
The side ended up finishing second, which was a huge achievement for the girls.
On Monday they discovered they were in the finals, and went on to play Whyalla in a tough game.
The girls started off slow but kept building and were hungry for the win.
They fought back to get within one goal in the last half, unfortunately they had a very tall goalie and despite some good efforts the team lost by two goals, finishing the campaign.
The girls improved their netball over the weekend.
Player by player
Danielle Daish (Imperials): Solid effort all weekend. She was the intercept queen as she turned the ball over throughout the mid court continuously. She worked hard to ensure the ball was brought down the court well.
Leticia McNicol (Imperials): She applied a lot of pressure in the mid court forcing the opposition to make mistakes. She worked hard in attack to give plenty of options to her team-mates.
Alisha Barton (Ramblers): A consistent goalie, she moved very well in the ring and put up some beautiful shots. She converted very well to defence when the ball was turned over which started the pressure early.
Abbey Lehmann (Ramblers): She had a very good eye for where the ball was and continuously got her hands on it and made her goalie work hard all weekend. Her long arms and ablity to read the ball allowed her to grab some great intercepts.
Elise Horstmann (Mannum): Elise was a dominant defender who was faced with some tough opposition but she did not give up and kept edging away at it and rewarded her team with many intercepts. When in attack she gave the team her all.
Phoebe Wegener (Mannum): She was outstanding all weekend - her shots were amazing. Her movement in the goal ring was good and she continually gave her team many leads. When the attack lost the ball she created many intercepts and finished it with a goal.
Jaelee Tabe (Mannum): Was a very reliable player all weekend, her effort and leadership is to be commended. She was a strong player who applied a lot of pressure and worked hard to keep her goalie out of the ring.
Zoey Roberts (Imperials): Had an outstanding weekend, she worked hard all the way down the court and helped her team to lift when they needed. She chased the loose ball and had some beautiful passes into the ring.
Chloe Pahl (Mypolonga): A little pocket rocket, she never stood still and continually worked hard to lose her player and ensure that she was in front. Her shots were accurate and she was a great asset in the ring.
Chelsea Gotch (Mypolonga): She went hard at everything and was often rewarded with a turnover and she was a tough wing defence as she didn’t give her player an inch. She was just as good in wing attack as she created good space.
Bridget Watson (Tailem Bend): Ran the court well and worked hard to reward her team’s hard work. When a mistake was made she worked hard to learn from it. Her pressure over the ball forced the ball to go high to allow the defenders to take an intercept.
Port Lincoln v River Murray 29-18
North Eastern v River Murray 18-17
Mid Hills One v River Murray 31-20
River Murray v Roxby Downs 31-14
River Murray v Mallee 26-25
Mid Hills Two v River Murray 18-14
River Murray v Adelaide Plains 16-13
Eastern Eyre v River Murray 23-19
Whyalla v River Murray 21-19