Each time Mypolonga and Meningie meet, they come with determination and intensity, and Saturday’s River Murray netball A grade preliminary final was no different.
Both sides provided spectators with a high-quality, well contested, skilled game.
Each team was unwavering in their expectation of representing their club in the 2018 grand final, but only one team could be the winner.
Meningie won the toss, however Mypolonga keeper Sheridan O’Brien intercepted the pass and the sidequickly converted through Nadia Manly.
Mypo quickly scored the second goal from their first centre pass and a fast-paced, defensive game ensued.
Each side strongly contested every pass, but many forced errors found it difficult for either team to take control.
Meningie lead by two goals after the first quarter, 12-10.
In the second quarter Meningie’s strong defensive pressure, especially from Kate Treloar and Rebecca Walsh challenged, Mypolonga goalers.
Mypolonga’s circle defenders O’Brien and Ashleigh Biddell put equal pressure on the Meningie goalers.
Meningie’s Casey Reichelt and Mypolonga’s Kelsey Gepp again had a great tussle in centre, trying to block and create openings.
But it was the timely intercepts from Gepp that pushed Mypolonga to take the lead by one, at the end of the quarter, 18-17.
Meningie remained unchanged for the third quarter, while Stacey Kempe went on at wing attack for Mypolonga, and her fresh legs and long arms had immediate impact.
The teams were relentless in their efforts, but it was Mypolonga’s goalers who shot with higher accuracy as their team settled, enabling them to extend their lead, 35-23.
For the final quarter, Meningie brought Jane Swan on at shooter to partner with Marni Hood.
The combination worked well as both goalies scored accurately and Meningie regained some ground but were unable to maintain control long enough to take the lead.
All players continued to dig deep and work tirelessly, however, it was Mypolonga’s lead, established in the third quarter, that allowed them to win by 10 goals, 48-38.
MENINGIE v IMPERIALS - The last time Meningie and Imperials met it proved to be a thriller.
Imperials started well with accurate shooting from Larissa Schenscher in shooter.
Both sides went goal-for-goal for most of the quarter with until Imperials mid court of Chloe Roberts and Molly Adlerintercepted crucial balls.
At the first break Imperials led 15-13.
In the second quarter, Meningie fired with efficient defensive work from defenders Lauren Jeffery and Caitlin Clothier while Blues’ goaler Sarah Crane settled into the circle, however the Bears led at half time 29-23.
In the third term Imperials mid court proved too strong as wing attack Simone Cocks provided drive and the goalies were able to capitalise.
Meningie centre April Brown provided defensive pressure when needed however at the final break it was only one goal in it, Meningie 42, Imperials 41.
The fourth quarter started much like the first, goal-for-goal. Imperial defenders Stephanie Hagger and Leah Williams worked tirelessly against Meningie’s Jane Swan and Candice Love, however Meningie came out victors in a thriller, 56-53.
MYPOLONGA v TAILEM BEND – Mypolonga and Tailem Bend took to the court in the preliminary final.
Tailem Bend won the centre pass and scored the first goal through Stacey Wilson.
The first quarter was intense with both teams applying pressure and the ball often going up and down the court. In a low scoring first termTailem led 6-4.
In the second quarter, Wilson continued to shoot accurately along with Katie Aspel, resulting in Tailem getting a few goals in a row.
Mypolonga applied defensive pressure and fought hard for any rebounds or loose balls.
Tailem Bend defenders Lorraine Haebich and Amanda Martin worked well in the ring, making it hard for Mypo to shoot or get rebounds.
Mypo led by one goal at half time, 14-13.
The third quarter was again tightly contested as Jordan Lewis, Mypolonga, used her long arms and height in the circle to get some handy intercepts.
Credit to Mypolonga goalers who held their ground and provided great contests for rebounds.
An even quarter from both sides as the Tigers led 22-21.
In the final quarter Mypolonga moved the ball well and capitalised on Tailem’s errors to gain a lead.
Outstanding reading of play by Mypolonga’s Danielle Monjean saw her intercept a lot of the ball creating shooting opportunities for her side.
Excellent teamwork from Mypo as they fought hard until the final whistle to finish with a seven-goal win, 33-26.
Tailem Bend had not beaten Mypolonga during the minor rounds however they provided excellent competition in a nail-biting game, showing great competitiveness.
Best players – Mypolonga: Danielle Monjean; Tailem Bend: Stacey Wilson.
IMPERIALS v RAMBLERS – Both teams started strong with close scores for the majority of the first quarter with Imperials leading the first quarter by only a few goals.
Ramblers made many changes with Sharni rarely missing a goal while under great defensive pressure from Imperials’ Brooke Matjanow and Casie Newell, but the Blues led at half time.
Changes were made for Imperials going into the third quarter as Madeline Adler, Leticia McNicol and Maddison Bell worked well together in defence creating turnovers.
Ramblers’ Charli Austin, Christine and Caitlin put ldefensive pressure on the opposition forcing them to work hard for the ball.
Imperials’ Micala Gurney and Tayla Dunning were accurate in goals, working hard under tight pressure.
The last quarter saw both teams fatiguing from warmer temperatures, but Imperials took the win, 55-34 with consistent hard work.