CONDITIONS were perfect for the interleague clash between Alberton and Riddell at Inverloch on Saturday and after some high-standard netball was played in both the junior and open grade, the day ended perfectly for the host association.
The day started off with the 17 and Under team and right from the first centre pass GA Shae Kyle was showing great accuracy and movement in the scoring zone.
Alberton had three unanswered goals on the board before Riddell made a start and they continued in that vein to open up a good quarter time lead but you’d have to say it was a very competitive game from that point onwards featuring excellent defence on both sides.
Midway through the first quarter, GS Abby McCaughan was starting to find range and was fed beautifully by WA Alana Hanegraaf and centre Alana McRae. 1/4 time: Alberton 12 Riddell 5.
At the start of the second, defensive pressure was strong with Alberton GD Kayla Redpath forcing several turnovers and intercepts while GK Jayde McGlead was all over her opponent, forcing Riddell to reset back to the transverse line regularly. Riddell began to find their range late in the second, but Alberton held their lead. 1/2 time: Alberton 16 Riddell 9.
A few changes after the break saw Courtney Teakle come into GS, Ally Martin into WA and Breanna Byers into GK. The quarter featured a shaky start by both sides with seven turnovers before Riddell scored a goal.
Courtney Teakle scored quickly after that from close range. The combination of Kyle and Teakle made it difficult for their opponents to rebound.
Alana McRae was controlling the centre beautifully, applying a lot of pressure in the defensive end and picking off any loose balls. 3/4 time: Alberton 24 Riddell 14.
Shae Kyle was working hard out of the ring and was providing drive down the court. WD Keighley Starrett was consistent and impressive all day, showing great athleticism. Riddell made a late surge, but as Alberton had done all day, they played their game and finished off with a great win.
Final Score: Alberton 28 Riddell 21. Best on Court: Shae Kyle.
After a break for the national anthem out on the Inverloch oval, it was back to the courts for the open game in which both Alberton and Riddell made a steady start, applying plenty of pressure through the court.
GA Kimberley Hillberg settled well early, and watching the long bombs coming in from sister GD Christie Hillberg from the mid-court was impressive, leaving Riddell unable to combat it. 1/4 time: Alberton 12 Riddell 8.
GK Britt Thomas was strong under the ring at the start of the second term, pulling in an impressive rebound. The long bombs continued from Hillberg to Hillberg. WA Olivia Cope was feeding the goalers well and making good position on the ring. WD Kelsey Buxton had great hands, turning over numerous opportunities back to Alberton. An injury to Christie Hillberg late in the second quarter, when she appeared to turn her ankle, brought Lauren Redpath into the mix and she immediately linked up well with Britt to keep the pressure on Riddell. 1/2 time: Alberton 24 Riddell 16.
Changes at half time saw Britt Thomas move into the centre, Lauren Redpath into GK and Renee Pilkington into WA. The changes worked well.
The sister combination of Britt Thomas and GS Jarney Thomas was working well and Alberton took advantage of any mistakes made by Riddell as they extended their lead. Christie Hillberg had also re-entered the fray and continued her high-level contribution, albeit with a slight limp. 3/4 time: Alberton 39 Riddell 22
Riddell reduced the margin early in the last quarter as came out playing some beautiful netball in the fourth, with fresh legs all over the court. Whereas Alberton seem to have eased off and some uncharacteristic errors crept ininto play allowing Riddell to finish off with their best play of the day. Final Score: Alberton 45 Riddell 35. Best on Court: Christie Hillberg.
AFNL Netball Sub-Committee President Ricky McNaughton offered his congratulations to both coaches, Julie Hillberg and Christie Hillberg. He said thanks also goes to our umpires for the day; Bron Williams, Jess Bell, Andrea Thorson and Bec Browne. Thanks also to Tash McRae for organising the umpires.
Thank you to team managers Jo Kyle and Caz Thomas, trainer Rod Cope, scorer Lyndell Cope, uniforms Di Schelling and thank you to Inverloch-Kongwak FNC for allowing the netballers to use their great facilities.