Bombers blitz ROC as Narre crush Brookers in Outer East netball

Kaylah Loulanting reels in a catch for Emerald against ROC. 409033 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

A strong win for Emerald over ROC is maintaining its place in the conversation for premiership contention as the Outer East Football Netball A-Grade netball season nears the halfway mark of the campaign.

The Bombers led for the duration of the contest thanks to a blistering first quarter in which their speed of ball movement and height across the court made life difficult for ROC at Starling Road.

Separate runs of seven and eight consecutive goals helped Emerald to a 10-goal lead at the first break, thanks in large part due to quality of shots.

Kaylah Loulanting and Mackenzie Fox were diligent in fostering excellent quality of shots rather than settling for difficult ones from further out from the post.

The lead grew as wide as 27 points midway through the last quarter before settling at 25 in a 69-44 Emerald win.

Loulanting finished with 44 goals to keep pressure on Wandin’s Emmalia Blake at the top of the leading goal scorer table, now trailing by just five.

Casey Rhodes-Anderson played a captain’s game in the back half and Krista Tomlinson as excellent in the midcourt.

Isabelle O’Shanassy came off the ROC bench to score 33 goals with Melanie Overdyk and Emily Vidler among its best players.

While Emerald’s defence needs to tighten up in order to fully assert itself as a premiership threat, in the bottom half for goals conceded per game, the offence is keeping them afloat, with a fourth-highest 58 goals per game.

Pakenham’s winning streak came to a grinding halt against Mt Evelyn, ending the run of consecutive wins at five.

The Lions powered their way into the league’s top bracket thanks to wins against sides largely in the bottom half of the ladder, and was always going to be tested against a true contender like the Rovers.

Pakenham simply couldn’t keep pace, its plight not assisted by conceding the first 12 goals of the afternoon, suffering a heavy 62-31 defeat.

Not only was Pakenham conceding plenty of goals, but the Lions struggled to score themselves – 10 was the most they managed in a quarter against Jodi Chandler Medal winner Kaitlyn Black, patrolling her opponent’s goal circle like a hawk.

It was Pakenham’s lowest score of the season, and the tests don’t get much easier next week, when they’ll tackle Wandin at home.

Millicent Utber continues to be a wonderful addition for Pakenham this season, with Kelly Cousins scoring 17 goals.

Narre Warren played arguably the most complete game of any side in the netball season to date in a demolition of Gembrook Cockatoo.

Here are some numbers; their lowest scoring quarter was 20 goals, they kept the Brookers to a single goal in two separate quarters, and inflicted the heaviest margin of defeat for the season so far in the 89-15 win.

Even with only four premiership players from last season remaining in Saturday’s side, the Magpies didn’t miss a beat in the thrashing, a performance that will frighten the remainder of the league.

Grace Ioelu shot 73 goals to power her team to the monster score, and Chelsea Tonna added 16 in her first game since round two, as Narre Warren maintained its undefeated streak.

Berwick Springs showed signs of improvement in its contest with Olinda Ferny Creek, but the first win of the season continues to elude them.

The Titans were outscored 14-5 in the second term and 21-7 in the third on their way to a 28-63 loss, despite the best efforts of Laura Walker, Amy Hocking and co.

Meanwhile, Wandin cruised to a fourth consecutive win since losing to Narre Warren with a 16-goal victory over Upwey Tecoma, and Monbulk scored an impressive 26-goal victory over Woori Yallock.