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28 April 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Jeparit-Rainbow is enjoying a strong start to the 2021 Horsham District Football Netball League A Grade season and is undefeated heading into round four.
The Storm has been at the lower end of the ladder for several years but is certainly stronger this year, enjoying wins over usually higher-ranked opponents Kalkee and Edenhope-Apsley.
Jeparit-Rainbow’s biggest test so far looms in the form of Harrow-Balmoral, which last week ended Kaniva-Leeor United’s impressive debut in its new league.
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The Southern Roos took a 13-goal lead into the first break and did not look back, winning by 20 goals, 54-34.
Coach Ebonie Salter won best-on-court accolades for her efforts in goal defence, while Courtney Clough shone in goals and the midcourt.
Kirby Knight has continued to prove an asset to her new club, putting up 43 goals despite strong defence from Elizabeth Hawker and Emma Hawker, who won votes at the weekend.
The Storm’s defenders will have their work cut out for them against the Roos and will benefit from the experience of Penny Fisher, who has returned to the fold, if available.
Goalie Georgia Batson shot 20 goals in a best-on-court performance against Edenhope-Apsley and will be a key player this week, as will team-mate Maddison Marra, who creates plenty of opportunities in the midcourt.
The Storm defeated Edenhope-Apsley by 21 goals, 49-38.
The Saints were best served by Morgan Coventry in defence and centre and defender Dulcie Shirrefs.
Edenhope-Apsley will host a Noradjuha-Quantong outfit brimming with confidence following a win over Natimuk United.
The Bombers will take the opportunity to work on combinations as they look to solidify a new team and will be too strong for the developing Saints.
The Bombers enjoyed a competitive match with the Rams in the first half, but were able to blow out a six-goal half-time lead to win by 20 goals, 46-26.
Ash McKinnon and Jayne Tucker combined well in the midcourt, while defenders Jo Taylor and Bethany Sudholz battled hard all game for the home side.
Natimuk United, in fourth spot, will meet Kaniva-Leeor United, sixth, this week in one of the most interesting matchs of the round.
The Rams, 2019 grand finalists, rarely lose and will be keen to return to the winners list against the Cougars before meeting Harrow-Balmoral the following week.
The Cougars are still a bit of a dark horse and could take it right up to Natimuk United at home, although the Rams’ experience and hunger might just get them over the line.
Kalkee enjoyed a breakthrough, 32-goal win over Pimpinio, led by a 32-goal performance from Jenna Bywaters.
Clair McDonald was also good in defence, making life difficult for Pimpinio’s goalies.
The Tigers were competitive early, within four goals at the first break, but were over-run as the game progressed.
Deni Sordello won recognition for her efforts in defence.
The Kees now turn their attention towards reigning premier and undefeated ladder leader Laharum, coming off a bye.
The teams will contest the Michele Mibus Memorial Round at Laharum.
Rupanyup has a bye this week after falling short against Swifts, despite the best efforts of wings Lucy Butler and Emma Downes.
Baggies goalie Jade Ralph, 18, was on song, while Julia Coates controlled the midcourt on her side’s way to a 49-23 victory.
Swifts will host Pimpinio on Saturday in an action-packed day that will also include the official opening of a new multipurpose change-room project at North Park.
Results: Noradjuha-Quantong d Natimuk United 46-26, Kalkee d Pimpinio 69-37; Swifts d Rupanyup 49-23, Jeparit-Rainbow d Edenhope-Apsley 49-28, Harrow-Balmoral d Kaniva-Leeor United 54-34.
Ladder: Laharum 12 points, 277.59 percent; Jeparit-Rainbow 12, 190.14; Harrow-Balmoral 12, 158.25; Natimuk United 8, 147.83; Noradjuha-
Quantong 8, 111.11; Kaniva-Leeor United 8, 93.22; Kalkee 4, 119.17; Swifts 4, 112.28; Edenhope-Apsley 4, 59.28; Pimpinio 0, 64.40; Rupanyup 0, 60.94.
The entire April 28, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser and AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!