Netball. The Smithton Saints have shone brightly on the court with stellar performances these past weekends.
Circular Head Netball Association teams travelled to represent the region at the recent Devon and Burnie netball association carnivals.
Players were struck by shocking conditions last weekend at the Devon tournament in Devonport however it was a different experience the following weekend in Burnie, playing in warm weather.
Devon Netball Association
The Grade 3/4 team was registered in the Under 10 division, so abided by modified ‘netta’ rules such as lower goal posts and no recorded scoring.
Sienna von Stieglitz and Sabella Hanigan joined the team of Mason Brown, Amber Brown, Emma van Norden, Leila Power, Geoffrey Jamieson, Alexis Donovan and Libby Buckby to provide fresh legs throughout the rotations.
The side played five games in all, with two 15 minute halves for each.
While games weren’t officially scored, coaches kept an eye on the goal scoring to find Circular Head was successful in four of the five games.
“It was a great experience for each player to play in a different position than they usually play in,” said coach Fiona van Norden.
“They all had smiles on their faces and encouraged each other on at every game.”
Grade 9/10 entered the Under 15 division to meet with Burnie, Northern Tasmania Netball Association and Southern Tasmania Netball Association.
Coach Alicia Jamieson says it was “a very tough day at the office for the girls” who were unable to gain a win.
“Everyone played extremely well and learnt a lot,” she said.
“I am very proud of the girls who kept their heads held high.”
Nerves were at an all time high for Grade 5/6 Blue in the first game of the tournament as Burnie played a dominating game to win 15 to 2.
Confidence rose in the second game as Circular Head challenged Devon in a well played game, with a lot of back and forth on the court before the visiting side took the win, 1 to 3.
Playing against Northern Tasmania Netball Association in the third game, Circular Head was up against a strong opponent but held their heads high in the 17 to 2 defeat.
The toughest match of the day was in game four against St Helens as the side’s energy stores began to run low, allowing the opposition to take the win, 22 to 1.
Playing in the knock-out final once again against top team St Helens, the Smithton Saints entered the contest with a stronger mindset and unified front. While the game finished in defeat, Circular Head continued to challenge St Helens throughout the 22 to 4 match.
The Grade 7/8 team achieved mixed success in its four games.
Earning a win, loss and draw throughout the carnival, the side made it to the Semi Final to be knocked out.
“The carnival was a great opportunity to trial players in new positions to gain greater awareness and learn new skills,” said coach Lydia Brown.
“I cannot commend the girls enough on the way they conducted themselves with sportsmanship and [are] always looking for a positive outcome in every situation.”
Burnie Netball Association
Played on Sunday, the Grade 9/10 team started the day slowly in game one against Ulverstone High School, ending in a 22 to 13 defeat.
A highly skilled Burnie High School outfit took to the court in the next game, dominating against Smithton who were unable to find momentum throughout the game to be defeated 24 to 4.
The Saints went out firing in the third match playing Devonport to claim a convincing 21 to 3 win.
Next up was Parklands High School. Circular Head held momentum from the previous game, shooting accurately to earn a 17 goal lead at half time. The side went close to doubling its goals in the second half, winning 3 to 32.
The last match before the finals was against Marist Regional College. The game was played goal for goal throughout the four quarters until the home side just made it across the line, 13 to 12.
Finishing fourth, Smithton met with third placed Marist in the elimination game. Fighting fatigue, the Saints were unable to progress to the Semi Final, losing 19 to 10.
“All of the girls played really well and improved throughout the day,” said coach Alicia Jamieson, “but standouts for me were Stella Nibbs in the defence end, Elise Popowski in the mid court and Piper Grey down in the shooting end.”
Grade 5/6 Blue met with Miandetta in the first game, narrowly losing 6 to 5.
The Smithton side started the second game strong and hungry for a win, which they successfully attained by four goals, 1 to 5.
In a team effort, Circular Head bagged a win against Cooee, 5 to 9, before Stella Maris brought the side undone in the next game. The Smithton Saints were struck by two injuries in the first half, leaving the side with six players.
The team pushed on into the second half, down by four goals, before the injured players were able to return to the court to fight back the margin to one goal, defeated 12 to 11.
Smithton finished strongly in the final game against Ridgley, 1 to 12.
Grade 5/6 Black played against St Brigids first up, scoring nine goals in both halves to win, 5 to 18.
The side stole an uncontested 12 goal win against Table Cape Navy in the second match before a hard fought battle in the third. Smithton fought from five goals down to outscore Burnie in the second half by nine goals, to win 9 to 13.
A win in the fourth game 4 to 14 against Hillcrest meant Smithton sailed smoothly into the Semi Final against Stella Maris to win, 16 to 6 and secure a place in the Grand Final.
Circular Head started poorly in the premiership match as turnovers allowed Burnie to take advantage and gain a two goal margin at half time, 7 to 5.
The Saints were unable to claw back the margin in the second half, narrowly losing the premiership 13 to 10.