Sport

All Blacks take the clean sweep in final round of Ovens and King

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla All Blacks finished their netball season off with a win, beating local rival Goorambat by six goals.

With both teams unable to make finals and with nothing to lose, the match served up a tight tussle, that had multiple lead changes throughout.

The Bats started strongly, but it was the All Blacks who went into the second half with a three-goal lead, which they doubled by match’s end.

For the All Blacks, it was Meagan James who toiled hard in centre, creating plenty of drive, while Sam Bochtler and Narissa Drane shared the workload in wing attack, and showed off their skilful feeding and precision passing.

Goorambat’s defence tried hard all game to get turnovers, with Georgia Thomson showing a strong ability to read play, while Ally Ellis again showed her experience and versatility to play at both ends of the court.

Score: All Blacks 37 def Goorambat 31

All Blacks' best: Not supplied.

Goorambat's best: Georgia Thomson, Ally Ellis, Elise Nolan.

Power play: Benalla's Grace Bekins winds up her pass in B-reserve.

B-grade

Benalla booked its finals place with a comfortable 17-goal victory against Goorambat to secure sixth place.

Benalla’s Bec Bradshaw played a strong game in three different positions, making good leads, running hard and ultimately shutting down Goorambat's attack, while Ash McDonald had a solid game, taking numerous intercepts and creating plenty of turnover opportunities for her team.

For Goorambat it was Brittany Harris who shot well, while Kelsey Moss showed her versatility by playing at both ends of the court, to help the Bats control the pace.  

Score: All Blacks 51 def Goorambat 34

All Blacks' best: Not supplied.

Goorambat's best: Britney Harris, Kirsten Hooper, Kelsey Moss

B-reserve

Benalla All Blacks put in a strong performance against Goorambat, besting the visitors by 16 goals in the final home and away match of the season.

But in a blow for the All Blacks, they were without Hannah McCallum, one of the All Blacks' most consistent players after she suffered an ankle injury in the first eight minutes of the game.

Benalla’s Grace Bekins played a consistent and accurate game, Zoe Barber took plenty of intercepts in the defensive end and Sarah Kubiel demonstrated her strong fitness base, playing consistently in centre for four quarters. 

For Goorambat, Kobi Chapman (wing attack) moved well to get the ball into her shooters, while Under-17s star Molly Brunner showed composure in the ring and shot well.

Score: All Blacks 42 def Goorambat 26

All Blacks' best: Not supplied.

Goorambat's best: Tali Wallace, Molly Brunner, Kobi Chapman

C-grade

With its spot in the top six already secured, Benalla made sure it was primed to go deep into finals with a strong 39-goal victory against Goorambat on Saturday.

But it was the Bats who had the better start, shooting several unanswered goals to begin the match, before the All Blacks clicked into gear to head into the second term, 14-8 up.

The All Blacks continued their dominance, with a strong defence led by Paige Blaine ensuring the opposition had minimal scoring opportunities for the last three quarters.

Meanwhile, Benalla’s Leah Mifrici made certain her opponent felt her presence and was able to capitalise on several stray balls from the opposition, while Briana McNair made sure the All Blacks' scoreline kept ticking over, with strong set ups and accurate goal shooting.

For the opposition, Goorambat’s Hayley Montgomery provided great coverage when defending the ball, Alyssa Priest played three strong quarters and provided plenty of options to the shooters, while Sienna Herbert applied strong pressure in wing defence. 

Score: All Blacks 58 def Goorambat 19

All Blacks' best: Not supplied.

Goorambat's best: Hayley Montgomery, Alyssa Priest, Sienna Herbert