sport

Rennie netballers primed for finals challenge

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

A Grade 

After a challenging season with a frequently changing line-up, Rennie A grade are excited for the opportunity to represent their club in the finals in 2019. 

The defensive end was the most consistent combination this year and sees Captain Shani Dickins in GK leading the way with young gun Maddi McInness who has had a stellar first senior season in circle defence. 

Jodie Bigger will line up in WD, her defensive pressure makes it difficult for opposition wings to feed their goalers. The midcourt has seen lots of changes with Clancy Bigger, Brooke Knight, Briana Magro and Hayley Bigger fulfilling those roles next week. 

Brylee McCarty continues to impress in goals along with Under 15 talent Brooke Knight who has been a revelation in the A grade team towards the back half of the year. Stacey Davis will return to the goal circle after a recent injury and has had an excellent first ever netball season. 

If the girls stick to their game plan and remain disciplined in attack, they will certainly be a chance to progress deeper into finals.

B Grade

Third position has been held well all season by the B Grade team. This has given the girls plenty of motivation to maintain the spot and work hard every game to keep improving. 

Shooting combo Paula Mifka and Kristy McDougall have established a great bond on the court and have improved week in week out. Attackers and centre court players: veteran Nada Nolen and Catherine Shaw have been working very hard on driving and passing into the shooters and are at their peak at the perfect time of the season. 

The mighty GK has been held up strong from Jill Haack who has great hands over the ball and contests every ball. 

Rotating through GD has been Hannah Douglass and Kayla Oughton who have proven to be very tough opponents to play against. WD has seen Jess Westwood support the defences in this position and give the team drive through the mid court. 

Coach Ackerly has made a few court time appearances but is extremely grateful for the team’s work load and will continue to push the girls through training so they are hitting their best netball. 

Excited for the B team’s finals campaign.

C Grade 

The girls go into finals full of confidence, coming off a few good wins against some strong competition. 

It hasn’t been an easy season for the girls. With most players not having played together before it took a while to find the right spot for everyone. 

But C Grade feel this can work in their advantage, finding their ‘groove’ at the end of the season and having some strong finishes fresh under their belt could be the upper hand needed heading into finals. 

Madz, Knuck and Georgia have the defensive end sorted with lots of talk and sticking tight, Soph, Tays and Illa have been ‘killing it’ in the midcourt and the team have lost count of all the goals Lauz, K-Dawg and H have been clocking up in the ring. 

C Grade may be the under dogs but if they keep playing their game, their way, they will be able to surprise everyone.

C Reserve 

First year coach Laura Nunn always knew the C Res team was capable of a successful year and the girls delivered just that. Being a first-year coach, Laura put in place a support team for herself with Sophie Judd who was going to play until her first training run, doing an ACL and Tanya Rhodes supporting her throughout the year. 

With Erin Lawford and Zoe Worland back shooting from last year and gaining Tegan Comber from some team shuffling, the goal ring had strength, height and speed. 

The mid court saw the return of super star running machine Amy Smith, back after baby number five, Jasmine Burns returned and made the move from Echuca to Mulwala meaning she was able to train every week and it paid off.

New to the club Britt Harris has been a great fit for the team adding plenty of pressure in defense with Tanya back on court this year, her leadership and netball knowledge has allowed the team to play smarter whilst also proving that you don’t have to be the fastest person on court to beat your opposition.

Olivia Johnson joined the club, stepping into a senior team at only 16 and she has taken on the challenge and developed into a determined WD.

The goal ring defence has also been dominated by Emily Stanley and Brooke McDougall. 

Three girls this year also had major milestones at the club with Erin Lawford playing her 200th, Amy Smith playing her 150th and Brooke McDougall playing her 100th club game. 

Now finals are here, and the minor premiership has been secured, the girls know that the hard work is still yet to come. They must keep pushing and playing together for each other as they have done all year as there is no telling how far they can go.

Under 17s 

Rennie under 17s have a new line up for 2019, with half of the girls new to the group.  

Charlie Hargreaves, Emily Coghill and Anika Walsh have been consistent all year putting the opposing goalers under plenty of pressure. Alainah Bye, Kaitlin Percy and Adelle Miles work tirelessly through the mid court moving the ball down court to the goalers.  

Hayley Bigger, Sophie James and Chloe Forge have rotated through the goal ring to convert all the hard work to the scoreboard.  Coming into finals, if Under 17s pull together as a team and play to their full potential, who knows how far these girls can go.

Under 15s

Coach Lisa Starr is heading into finals with plenty of hope that her team will finish with the ultimate win. Despite finishing on top of the ladder undefeated, the Under 15s girls will have their work cut out for them with the top four teams. 

With all girls having finals experience, Rennie will be looking forward to the challenge ahead. 

Having to rotate 12 girls this year has been challenging, but all girls have adjusted well in each position. 

The line-up consisting of Hannah Shoppee, Brooke Knight, Emily Hogan in defence, mid courters Charlotte Bott, Grace Stephens, Brooke Bigger, Marni Hoskins, Charli Head, Mia Doherty and goalers Ella Rhodes, Sophie O’Dwyer and Abbey Coghill are all strong combinations. 

Under 13s

2018 Premiership Coach Brooke McDougall certainly had her work cut out for her this year with a new team full of 11 passionate, outgoing and determined girls.

Throughout the season the girls worked hard at training to make sure that they would always be putting their best foot forward in skills, athletics and sportsmanship. 

This year’s team is filled with girls of all ages and heights, yet they make sure that every game is 110% effort and 110% love. Despite the girls being able to play every position on the court, the main shooters with an eye for accuracy and might are Sophia Shaw, Laynee Rhodes, Lucy Bassett and Sienna Mullavey. 

With the midcourt being dominated with speed and control by Abbey Shoppee, Georgia Phillips and Violet Elliott. Alongside the diverse defence with Keely Thorpe, Heleena Shaw, Caitlin VanMaanen and Makenzie Clark. 

Bring on the finals and no matter the outcome, the Under 13s have worked hard, played as a team, learnt many new skills and most of all had fun.