The under-17 squads all went down to their opponents, but all enjoyed positive signs of team play and ball movement.
The 17-1s suffered a loss to St. Therese’s, but with three new players in the side, chemistry will take time to build. Aimee Harris, given an opportunity in goal shooter, shot accurately with limited opportunities to build her body of work for the selection panel. Darja Bilyanska and Lucy Beath continued their good work from last season in midcourt positions, while Nat Williams performed strongly in wing defence, negating her opponent’s drive on multiple occasions.
Chanel Romeo headlined an encouraging performance in the 17-2s, with the returning goal attack displaying impressive movement and shooting prowess. Paired with Ketria Wood, the combined height of the two goalers gave Northern Panthers plenty of headaches. The return of Louisa Bongrain from an overseas holiday bolstered the height of the defence, while Maddy Birrell, Isabel Leraci and Pauline Genreau held down the midcourt in unfamiliar positions.
Finally, the U17-3s showed they aren’t to be forgotten, with a great performance against Lakeside. Anushka Sadler and Holly Pugliese showed touch and accuracy in attacking positions, while Sara Abate impressed in goal defence. Alicia Lupone, Rebecca Stingel and Tayla Burr played well in their first game at their new club, but ultimately it wasn’t enough, with the team suffering a narrow loss.
While the results won’t translate into points on the ladder, there were plenty of extremely encouraging signs across all teams. The make-up of the squads means there are girls that haven’t played much netball with each other before, which in turn means team chemistry will take time to develop.