Rowley and Challengers secure netball league titles

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Team Rowley and Challengers won the pre-Christmas netball league divisions one and two respectively, after wins in the play-off matches against Kinetics and Unst.
Pre-Christmas League

Division One
(Sponsored by Bristows)

Team Rowley 46, Kinetics 43
Team Rowley’s 46-43 victory over Kinetics has completed a long anticipated win in the Bristow Helicopters league title clash.
Team Rowley won the first centre pass and were immediately caught off guard by Kinetics’ explosive start in front of an impressive crowd of supporters. TR responded quickly and regained possession of the ball to secure the first goal.

Both teams started competitively but TR settled first and stormed into a six-goal lead. TR’s Lisa Morrison was on outstanding form, shooting some fantastic long-range shots, while the defence of Fiona Dally, Maisie Unsworth and Karen Bannister were working equally as well to break down Kinetics’ attacking play. The first quarter ended 15-9 to TR.

Going into the second quarter Valerie Johnston replaced Fiona Shearer at centre and Ingrid Nicol replaced Cheryl Simpson at WD for Kinetics.

The second quarter saw each team make an effort to play attacking netball with end-to-end action throughout. TR were becoming comfortable in finding their shooting range while Kinetics defence were working tirelessly to make an interception of the ball.

Kinetics’ Emma Gray and Andrea Tait were working especially well to press on the TR attack but Morrison’s long-range shots left little interception or rebound opportunities. The second quarter ended 20-26 to TR.

In the third quarter Kinetics Valerie Johnston moved to WD and Fiona Shearer returned to centre. Kinetics continued to fight in the third quarter and most of the quarter was very evenly matched. TR’s Kylie Wood and Karen Mackay were working well together in mid-court, feeding and supporting their shooters effectively.

Kinetics lacked support around their circle, forcing shooters Sarah Grogan and Kirsti Leask to work hard, Leask displaying great balance and ball control to keep Kinetics in the game. The third quarter ended 39-32 to TR.

In the fourth quarter TR started as they had in the previous two quarters, working steadily as a team. Kinetics were determined to reduce the lead and a few loose passes and missed shots from TR meant Kinetics had a chance of clinching the game.

Five minutes before the end Kinetics were shooting to level the score 40-40. However, TR dug deep and responded with some excellent movement in the shooting circle from Marie Clark and Morrison to edge away, ending the match at 46-43.

A special mention must go to the referees who were clam under pressure in this hard-fought and intense match.

Players of the match were Lisa Morrison of Team Rowley for her consistent shooting and Kirsti Leask of Kinetics for her impressive balance and ball control.

Division Two
(Janet Courtney)

Unst 23, Challengers 27
Wednesday saw Challengers clash with Unst to determine who would be victorious in the pre-Christmas second division. Both teams dived straight in with fast and furious play. Challengers’ Heather Williamson used her speed to direct the play down the side court to help Challengers pull ahead at 7-5.

Challengers’ Natalie Polson defended well and unsettled Unst’s shooters. However, both teams maintained their steady play and the second quarter ended in Challengers favour at 14-10.

With fresh legs on the court Unst’s determination showed as they managed to gain the upper hand during the third quarter.  Karis Burns showed great potential as Unst’s centre, moving the ball up to Unst’s Chelsea Jamieson who played a great game against the experienced and tight challenger defence.

At the other end of the court Unst’s Martha Clark helped keep the challengers scoring down with the quarter ending 17-16 to Challengers.

In the final quarter Challengers’ Louise Anderson stepped up her game to give challengers the advantage.  Challengers were unfazed and their consistent play saw them slowly draw ahead of Unst again.

Challengers were victorious, finishing the game 27-23 and lifting the trophy. Players of the match were Martha Clark for Unst and Natalie Polson for Challengers.

The Challengers were playing in a new kit and a spokeswoman said they would like to thank JS Building Contractors Ltd, Whalsay for the very kind sponsorship.

Post-Christmas Leagues

Division Two
(Ocean Kinetics)

Westside 31, Hotfooters 49
Once again Westside could not field their usual team due to illnesses and other circumstances, but were determined to give a good game.

Westside won the first centre but Hotfooters were out to win from the start and Haley Tulloch made a lovely interception from that first centre pass and played it into Liza Fullerton to score the first goal. Hotfooters were on good form and the first quarter ended in a 15-7 lead.

The second half seemed to be more settled for Westside with some better passing in mid court down to the shooters who where shooting well. The second half ended 14-29 to Hotfooters.

Going into the third quarter Westside where more determined and tried to fight back with some super interceptions by Erica Mikolajczak and Heather Henry. But it came too late as the yougsters were on great form with lovely, sharp accurate passing through the court to shooters Tulloch and Fullerton who rarely missed.

The last quater saw Hotfooters make some changes with Rozanne Georgeson moving from goalkeeper to centre and Lauren Odie from centre to GD. A few other players also swapped positions, which Westside thought could be to their advantage, but the girls played to their full potential and the match ended 49-31.

Players of the match were Heather Henry for Westside and Haley Tulloch for Hotfooters.

Division Three
(Evelyn Rae)

Scallywags 30, Da McEwans 50
Scallywags won the first centre of the game and it was not long before they opened the scoring with a goal from Anne-Marie Robinson, but Da McEwans soon levelled with a goal from Joanne Stewart.

As this quarter progressed it was Da McEwans who dominated play as Scallywags seemed to be very unsettled and had not found their form. Da McEwans went into the second quarter leading 13-5.

With the second quarter under way and changes made for both teams again it was Da McEwans who were the stronger of the teams and dominated most of the play. There was great centre play from Maggie Irvine to Deborah Mowat into Alison Williamson and Joanne Stewart who were finding the net on each occasion, making Scallywags defence of Joy Duncan and Pauline Mouat work tirelessly.

Scallywags were still a bit unsettled but they never gave up and saw some great linking passes between Gwen Malcolmson to Meg Laurenson, through to Cyndi Pottinger and on to shooters of Freda Leask and Anne-Marie Robinson. They were also finding the net but were being marked closely by Emily Shearer and Diane Irvine.  As this quarter came to a close it was Da McEwans who were leading 27-11.

In the third quarter Scallywags had settled into the game and were producing some great play in centre court between Gwen Malcolson and Freda Leask into shooters Robinson and Stewart. But they were again being marked tightly by Da McEwans’ Shearer and Irvine who were on every rebound to get the ball up to their shooters.

Da McEwans were making Scallywags work were hard and Joanne Stewart and Alison Williamson were on form with their shooting. Da McEwans went into the final quarter leading 36-21.

Scallywags knew they had everything to play and were very determined to close the gap in the scoring. Both teams were playing very well and producing some great play and linking passes but it was Da McEwans who proved the stronger.

Players of the match were Joy Duncan of Scallywags and Alison Williamson of Da McEwans.

Ness 33, Tingwall 29
The first quarter began with Ness taking the upper hand. They made fast and accurate passes in the centre third and linked well into the circle with good attacking play from Megan Smith and Claire Farmer.

Caroline Wood and Elizabeth Williamson hardly missed a shot and despite some good defending by Tingwall’s Kim Johnson and Louise Arthur, Ness led the first quarter 11-6.

The second quarter was played at a fast pace. Both teams made good interceptions, with Tingwall catching loose balls from Ness and passing well to their circle. Tingwall’s Zoey Symington and Paula Sinclair kept the pressure on Ness with accurate shooting and the second quarter ended 19-15 to Ness.

The play continued to be fast in the third quarter, with good defending by Ness and both teams shooting well. Tingwall pulled back another goal to finish the quarter 25-22 to Ness.

Both teams fought hard in the last quarter with determined play around the court, but the Ness shooters kept the pressure on and increased their lead to win 33-29.

Players of the match were Ruth Christie for Ness for strong and consistent defending and Paula Sinclair for her speed on the court.

Da Hooligans 46, Scalloway Juniors 18
Da Hooligans started off the stronger, taking full advantage of the absence of some vital players. With consistent defending Da Hooligans led in the first quarter 12-5.

Da Hooligans continued to dominate with good link up court between the defence and mid-court. The juniors defence made a number of great interceptions but the accurate shooting from Valerie Sales and Bethany Laurenson resulted in the socre 25-7 in Da Hooligans’ favour.

In the third quarter, Scalloway Juniors made some changes and the presence of Rowan Nicolson in mid-court boosted the Scalloway Juniors’ confidence. Despite their constant hard work, Da Hooligans shooters failed to miss their shots and the score was 40-11 leading into the last quarter.

Scalloway Juniors continued to fight on, scoring more goals in this quarter, but the consistent play from Da Hooligans won them the match 46-18.

Credit must be given to Scalloway Juniors for their determination throughout the game. Players of the match were Lara Kay for Da Hooligans and Rowan Nicolson for Scalloway Juniors.

Quiz winner
A spokeswoman said Shetland Ladies Netball Association would like to thank everyone who bought the Christmas anagram fund-raiser – the total raised was £349. Well done to Colleen McDonald who won the quiz.

• For league tables see this week’s Shetland Times on Friday.


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