Bluebirds to chase off Brumbies
BLUEBIRDS' fall from grace against Brothers in their last game was forgotten on Wednesday night as the reigning champions repelled the challenge of Frenchville Brumbies to win by 11 goals.
It was not a night for shocks in the Rockhampton Leagues Club A grade competition with all the big guns winning their matches at Jardine Park by handsome margins.
Bluebirds coach Barb Ahmat was happy with her team's display, especially in the first three quarters of the match.
“We did the damage in the second quarter, which we won by 15-5,” she said.
While pleased with the performance of her squad, Ahmat was particularly happy with the return of Mikaela King to the defensive circle.
More good news for Bluebirds was the return from injury of Brie Crane and Julie Dunbar, who each played half a game.
Shooter Kate Kearney earned the Rockhampton Leagues Club best-on-court award for Bluebirds.
Ahmat also praised the efforts of Danielle Wingard and young mid-court player Shanita Smith.
The threat from 2009 premier Brothers Crimson mounts after a commanding victory over Frenchville Mustangs.
Unfortunately, the Mustangs are struggling for numbers and therefore are unable to capitalise on Brothers being without three of their own starting line-up.
Despite missing star goal-shooter Amee Brown, plus influential court players Zoe Siebold and Toni Robson, Brothers romped to a 45-31 victory.
This season Brothers have decided to train their A grade and reserve grade as a unit with coaches Tanya Shuker and Sally Kuhl involved in both teams.
Shuker said the players have worked harder on their fitness this season and there has been a change in attitude.
However, the nucleus of the team remains the same as last season.
Wendy Evans is one of two newcomers to the squad, along with Tracy Upton, and she has given Brothers a spark in mid-court.
Evans, who played in Emerald before this season, was the Rockhampton Leagues Club Player of the Night for Brothers after a great display as wing defence.
Also in the action was Shuker, who has been playing reserve grade, but helped out this week at wing attack.
The coach said while Evans gained the award for best-on-court, there were other strong displays from Heidi Barnett and Justine Whouley.
For the Mustangs, Gabi Aust was nominated best of the night.
The season remains a learning curve for RGS Magic with the young team soundly beaten by last year's A grade finalist Colts.
Colts won by 18 gaols with Claws star Jacinta James the Colts' best.
Another Claws star shone brightly for Capricorn Coast Marlins where Kira-Lee Leo was best-on-court for her team in the 44-33 win over Angels Titans. Although beaten by 11 goals, Angels did show signs of improvement.
While numbers playing netball continue to soar, the code does have a few concerns as the grass courts at Jardine Park remain in poor condition following the floods.
With just two months before the Rockhampton Netball Association host a big junior tournament, there are concerns team numbers may have to be restricted due to court availability and games scheduled later into the evening than originally planned.
This weekend will be busy for the Capricorn Claws with players training with academy players at Emmaus College on Saturday.
On Sunday the Claws play a pre-season match against Whitsunday starting at noon and also at Emmaus.
The Claws' state championship matches start on May 7.
Round 5 netball wrap:
Scores: Bluebirds Hawks 38 d Frenchville Brumbies 27, Capricorn Coast Marlins 44 d Angels Titans 33, Brothers Crimson 45 d Frenchville Mustangs 31, Colts 50 d RGS Magic 32.
Rockhampton Leagues Club Player of the Match winners: Jessica Broome (Angels Titans), Kate Kearney (Bluebirds Hawks), Wendy Evans (Brothers Crimson), Kira-Lee Leo (Cap Coast Marlins), Jacinta James (Colts), Keanna Hopkins (Frenchville Brumbies), Gaby Aust (Frenchville Mustangs), Ella Lawrie (RGS Magic).
Ladder: Bluebirds Hawks 12, Capricorn Coast Marlins* 11, Brothers Crimson* 11, Colts 10, Frenchville Brumbies* 9, Angels Titans* 7, RGS Magic 6, Frenchville Mustangs 6. *To play rescheduled round two fixtures.