You couldn’t help but feel the buzz around the grounds on the weekend. Everyone was so happy to be back and seemingly looking forward to playing a full fixture for the 2022 Season.
Some of the results didn’t quite go the way some would have liked but it was exciting to be back playing, and enjoying what sport brings to the local communities.
It was amazing to hear of the numerous netballers playing their debut matches for their respective clubs in Round 1. So many of our Junior players are being given great opportunities and testing their skills in the Senior Competitions. As a consequence, I believe, the standard of Hampden netball is improving. Congratulations to all the players concerned and I’m looking forward to monitoring your development as the season progresses.
Umpire Appreciation Round – April 23 and 25
Round 3 will be the host round for our Umpire Development Program. Ann Castles and Deb Hemer from Netball Victoria will be conducting a “Rules Discussion” session at the Warrnambool Netball Stadium on April 22nd at 7.00 p.m. Deb Hemer will also be explaining what the new “Netball Connect” digital platform means for Umpires. This session will be invaluable for all of our Umpires across the league so I hope to see many of you in attendance.
On Saturday we will have experienced Umpire Coaches at all the venues mentoring Umpires across all grades. As we continue to work on the development of our Umpires we hope to have the opportunity to do some testing a bit later in the season, something we have been unable to do the past 2 years due to COVID. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our umpires who officiate our games on a regular basis and help make the HFNL Netball program possible.
In last week’s Open Division results South Warrnambool proved they will be a team to be reckoned with this season. They defeated Cobden by 11 goals. Annie Blackburn put in a strong performance for South and her team mate Holly Phillips shot 47 of her team’s 52 goals. Sarah Moroney played well for Cobden in her first game with her new Club.
Koroit easily accounted for the Hamilton Kangaroos winning 73 goals to 39. Isabella Baker starred for the Saints and Nell Mitchell opened her season well shooting 55 goals. Clare Crawford performed well in attack for the Kangaroos.
The Eagles had to work hard to fight off a gallant Port Fairy and were eventual winners by 8 goals. Maddie Vardie was looking strong through the centre court for North and Rachel Batten started off her season well, taking a few timely intercepts. Emily Forrest was Port Fairy’s best.
Jordie Bidmade made an impressive start to her 2022 campaign playing well for the Blues. She helped guide her team to a 15 goal win over the Tigers and Terang Mortlake scored a narrow win over Camperdown, 40 – 38. Amy Arundell was back at full strength performing well for the bloods, whilst Krystal Baker was best on court for the Magpies.
My Predictions for this Week.
Hamilton host Warrnambool at home and I see this game as being a good test for the Kangaroos to see where they are at. Not much is known about their new recruits including the Somerville sisters but I think Warrnambool will take the points here in a close contest.
Portland will have a big task taking on the Bombers this week. Cobden will be looking to get their season back on track and will have learnt from a first round defeat. They will earn the 4 points here.
Terang Mortlake take on Port Fairy and I also see this game as a gauge to see how much Terang Mortlake have improved. Port Fairy played a very determined brand of netball last week and will take it up to Terang but I think the Bloods attack will be too strong for the Seagulls and will get over the line with another close win.
South Warrnnambool play Camperdown at the Friendlies. Camperdown, having to rebuild after losing some of their experienced players in the off season, will struggle to match the skill and speed of the Roosters across all areas. South will win comfortably.
In what will be the match of the round, North Warrnambool Eagles take on Koroit at home. The Eagle’s height up each end of the court as well as through the centre will match very well against a younger Saints team. Koroit will work hard to stop the flow of the eagles game style but in what will be an excellent showcase of skillful netball, I think North might win a close game.
We can expect another weekend of favourable weather conditions so it will be great to see everyone out again enjoying their football and netball again this week.
Good Luck to all teams competing this weekend.
Author: Josie Logan