Bluebirds Eagles goal shooter Amanda Goody follows the ball home during the Premier League win over Hotshots on Tuesday at CQUniversity.
Bluebirds Eagles goal shooter Amanda Goody follows the ball home during the Premier League win over Hotshots on Tuesday at CQUniversity. Sharyn Oneill Roksnet

Bluebirds flying high for finals

THE Rockhampton Netball Association Premier League program is nearing an end for 2011 and the Bluebirds are putting in a strong challenge prior to the finals on December 15.

Players get a rest next week as the courts at CQUniversity are unavailable but when competition recommences only two rounds remain before finals.

Bluebirds president and coach of the Kites team, Debbie Crane, was very happy with her team's display in beating the Frenchville Fury by 15 goals.

Crane said she was forced to make a few changes to her line-up at the start of the match with both of her defensive circle players unavailable.

Nicole Watson will convalesce after having a plate removed from a collar bone after a serious injury while her defensive partner Taylah Pringle was away enjoying schoolies week

Crane said rising Kiwi star Tia Konui moved into goal defence while Kate Kearney also gave up her attacking role to take on defensive duties.

The arrival of Junior A defender Renee Dunpon gave her the opportunity to rotate players while at the other end of the court the ever-reliable Tanya Flamank played the whole match at shooter.

The Bluebirds Eagles also had a solid win beating Hotshots by 42-33.

Like the majority of clubs in the competition, the Eagles are mixing up the playing stock with young and experienced performers.

Amanda Goody may have missed a lot of netball over the past two years but Crane said the shooter was looking better than ever.

"She came back halfway through last season and she is fitter and shooting with accuracy," she said.

"She is going so well."

Goody has already struck up a partnership with newcomer to the area Sarah Brennon who recently took on a position at the Rockhampton Grammar School.

"Sarah is one to watch for next season," Crane predicted.

"She says she has had a few years away from netball but you would never know."

Crane is a big fan of the Premier League concept as it has given the club the opportunity to look at players who had been playing their netball in the lower grades and testing them against A-grade and A-Reserve players.

One to shine is Elyce Smith who played in the Junior-G competition last year but looks at home playing with and against seniors.

"She is combining well with A-grade players," Crane said.

"A lot of the junior players are coming through and doing well at a higher level."

PREMIER LEAGUE

Rockhampton Netball Association Premier League . There are no games next week due to courts being unavailable at the Central Queensland Community Sports Centre.

After the one-week break only two rounds will remain before the finals are held on December 15

Tuesday nights round

Bluebirds Falcons 39 def Cap Coast Marlins 24

Cap Coast Jetz 30 def Runaways Diamonds 26

Bluebirds Kites 42 def Frenchville Fury 27

Bluebirds Eagles 42 def Hotshots 33

Frenchville Flames 36 def Frenchville Flare 33

Brothers Inferno 30 def Brothers Fire 17



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