WNDA too strong for six-player St Therese
WDNA took full advantage of an understrength St Therese outfit to come away with a 27-goal win in the 17 and Under M-League clash. Taking to the court in the penultimate round of the Victorian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (VMMNA) season, the ladder leaders St Therese were down to five fit players and had to have a fill-in from the younger 14 and Under grade to even get a sixth player on court. Though St Therese battled hard, ultimately it would be too much, and WDNA came away with a 48-21 victory.
In that clash, WNDA put the foot down in the first quarter, piling on 15 goals to two, as Campbell Brown scored 12 of them. Taking a break after that, Hayden Zani swapped the goal attack bib for a goal shooter bib and kept rotating as his side raced out to a 30-7 lead at half-time. While WDNA had rotational options, St Therese did not have that luxury, not only having to make do with one less player, but having 12-year-old Wynter Morgan Eeles step up from the 14 and Under grade to slot into wing attack.
St Therese was far more competitive in the second half as the team seemed to click, with Liam Mason and Josh Francis in the goal circle combining for 14 goals. By the end of the match, Mason would have 14 by himself, and Francis seven, though ultimately the team would go down, 48-21. Jonty Strickland starred for WDNA playing through centre and wing attack, while Daniel King was crucial in goal defence, and Zani finished the match with 27 goals for the winners.
The other match was a tight affair, with Peninsula Waves surviving a late comeback from winless Darebin to get up by four goals, 40-36. In one of Darebin’s best performances of the year, it managed to keep in touch then score 14-10 in the final term to make a fist of the contest. Hudson Ebbage was brilliant in defeat as goal attack, shooting 22 goals, while Ryan Francis D’Armour was huge in the midcourt. Jaclyn McCallum was productive in that matchup with Ebbage in goal defence, while Christian Doukas supported in goal attack with 12 goals.
In the 14 and Under grade, WDNA opted to play Brown for the full four quarters in his age bracket after playing in the higher division all season, and he impressed with 29 goals in three quarters at goal attack. He turned the game after being goal defence in the opening term and Melbourne Up & Comers lead 8-2, but a second half dominance of 32-13 in favour of WDNA saw them run away with the 12-goal victory. Noah Bacon and Max Major combined well in the midcourt, while for Melbourne Up & Comers. Kai Verwoert battled hard in goal defence.
In the other clash, St Therese proved too strong for TBC, coming away with a 29-goal victory. It was a complete performance from the favourites, as they scored double-digit goals in the last three quarters to win each of the terms and record the 44-15 result. Eeles also played three quarters in the match before playing a full game in the 17 and Under grade, while Jack Shaw and Seamus Sullivan were named among the best in goal defence and midcourt respectively. Noah Chapman scored a team-high 11 goals for TBC.