Young Lions provide a scare

Courtney Lever defends Dorothea George. 195432

By Romy Stephens

OUTER EAST NETBALL

REVIEW – ROUND 11

DIVISION 1

With the Outer East Premier Division taking a well-earned break this week, all eyes were fixed on Division 1 A Grade over the weekend.

The clash between Mount Evelyn and Pakenham proved just how tight the competition is at this time of year, with the Rovers barely holding onto a 39-36 win.

Heading into the final quarter, it seemed as though the Rovers were going to record a comfortable win, taking with them a seven-goal buffer, but the Lions were not finished with just yet. A hard-fought final quarter saw Pakenham claw four goals back until the final siren ended their hopes of a comeback win.

The emerging Lions – one of the competition’s youngest groups, continue to prove they are a side well and truly on the rise under highly regarded coach Karen Meredith despite the loss, and will take a lot out of the result

Among the best players for the Rovers were Jacqui Black, Bronte Pearson and Jessica McKenzie, in what was an all-round team effort.

Mount Evelyn remain three game clear in second-place after the win, but a loss for the Lions sees them fall down to fourth-place.

It didn’t take long for ROC to rebound after losing it’s first game for the season last week. The Kangaroos were instrumental as they dismantled Warburton Millgrove 44-27 at home on Saturday. In-form goal shooter Dorothea George (22 goals) was among the Kangaroos’ best alongside Emily La Roche and Emily Boribon, who continued their impressive campaigns to date.

The result sees neither team shift from their ladder position, with ROC retaining top-spot and the Burras sitting in sixth-place on the standings.

Doveton faced an almighty scare from Belgrave as they barely held onto a 34-33 win. The Magpies seemed to have some life sparked into them on home turf as they stormed through the first quarter with a six-goal lead.

But the determined Doves weren’t going to say die with a fight-back in the second quarter narrowing the margin to one-goal. The two sides were then neck-and-neck until the final siren but much to Doveton’s relief, it was them who would hold on to take the chocolates.

Monbulk shifted up to third-spot on the ladder after securing a convincing 56-33 win over Emerald. After a blistering start, and impressive performances from Jordan Ngarimu, Tiana Mancarella and Nicole Macdowell, the Hawks proved just too strong for the Bombers.

Looking ahead to round 12 for the Premier Division, the battle for third position between Cranbourne and Woori Yallock will be one to watch. The last time these two sides met, the Eagles demolished the Tigers by 20 goals. However, since then the Tigers have been in good form having won four of their past five games. The only thing separating these two sides on the ladder at this stage is percentage.

Narre Warren will be looking to retain fifth-spot on the ladder as they take on eighth-placed Upwey Tecoma, while Wandin will be looking to force itself into the top-five with an upset win over Beaconsfield.

Meanwhile, bottom-placed Healesville will face an extraordinarily tough ask as they take on undefeated competition dominators Olinda Ferny Creek at home on Saturday and Berwick have the bye.

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