Sport

End of year reviews - Netball

By Riverine Herald

Tongala

A year of development and growth for Tonny was hard to judge simply on their wins and losses.

The days of Tonny netball being a regular at the top of the Murray Netball League are now gone, with a new generation of Blues looking to leave their mark.

Fortunately, the new look A grade side under the guidance of Caddison Mulholland have given an indication that the club is well and truly on the right track.

The Blues fell just short of sneaking into a finals berth, and while a 7-11 season doesn't seem perfect on paper, a lot of strong wins and good performances against the better sides of the competition.

A lot of young players began to show their ability, and with the senior players in the group hitting their prime, it's not an unreasonable assumption that Tongala aren't too far away from being a contender.

Some players missed most or all of 2019 due to injury as well, so add that talent and experience back into the side, expect a lot of progress to follow a building year.

Leitchville-Gunbower

For long periods of the season, Leitchville-Gunbower’s A grade netballers remained in the hunt for a finals position.

But they continued to let themselves down at the most critical moments.

While it may have been a difficult lesson to learn, it could be a pivotal one moving forward into 2020.

The biggest positive from Leitchy-Gunny’s season come at the defensive end with the Bombers conceding the least goals of all non-finalists.

And if they are able to sort themselves out in the attacking third, a move up the ladder is certainly not out of the question for next season.

It proved to be a frustrating end to the season with the Bombers failing to win any of four their remaining games – including a loss to Heathcote who won just two games.

While they limped to the finish line, the Bombers gave glimpses their best is good enough.

Lockington-Bamawm United

Unfortunately for the Cats, there wasn’t too much to celebrate in 2019 as they finished the season with the Heathcote District Netball League wooden spoon with just one win to their name.

At various stages of the season, LBU struggled to get their best team on the court which meant they struggled to find any consistency.

While a coaching change didn’t change their fortunes, it did see the team adopt a more positive style as they aimed to stay in games for longer.

The year started on the front foot for the Cats after they won their first game of the season against Heathcote by two goals, but they couldn’t find them levels again.

The club have already made it clear they want to attract new players to the club in a bid to add depth to their netball ranks, and if they can do so it will go a long way to helping them move up the ladder.

Mathoura

While the Timbercutters finished the Picola and District Netball League season with just three wins, they still have plenty to look forward to heading into 2020.

In the back half of the season, coach Rohan Starkey elected to hand A grade debuts to several juniors including Bella Jachim and Faith Butt.

The club have made it clear they want to see their juniors progress to the senior ranks and all of the players showed they are more than capable of making an impact in the top grade.

Throughout the season, the Timbercutters struggled to find consistency with the gap between their best and worst sure to be a focus in pre-season.

Mathoura’s best win of the season came back in round six, when they stormed to victory against Blighty by 11 goals.

As Starkey said at the time, the most important aspect of the performance was the Timbercutters played the game quarter-by-quarter.

The ability to produce a four quarter display during the season often proved to be their undoing and it ended up costing them matches even against the lesser sides.