Busselton Magpies netball hosted Carey Park

Good defence: Magpies Masters with Carol Hayley and Nichole Gleed defending the shot. Photo: Supplied.
Good defence: Magpies Masters with Carol Hayley and Nichole Gleed defending the shot. Photo: Supplied.

In the first game of the newly introduced Masters Division the Busselton Magpies Masters hosted the Carey Park Panthers at the Geographe Leisure Centre and were up against some tough opposition.

The game started out goal for goal but by the end of the first quarter Carey Park started pulling away, to lead 16-8 .The experience of a team that's played together for awhile was evident in the Panthers' play as they dominated in the second quarter and piled on another 16 goals and went to the half-time break leading 32-12.

The Magpies made changes at the main break and started to gel as a team. The Magpies' shooters fought hard in the circle against some tight defence, while up the other end of the court the Magpies' defenders turned the ball over with some great intercepts and rebounds. The mid court opted for shorter passes and good strong leads to regain control of the game. The second half was much closer with a 20-25 score line but the gap was too much for the Magpies on their first outing going down 32-57. They will be training hard ahead of their next game, scheduled for May 17.

The 16's and 18s Busselton Magpies ventured to Bridgetown to face the Blackwood Ravens. Coach Beth Stokes put the players through a spirited warm up and then addressed them prior to start of the game. The 18's got off to a fast paced start, which did not change throughout the entire game. The Ravens scored the first goal which was met with a quick reply from the Magpies. Both teams traded goals for most of the first quarter and there were numerous intercepts and turnovers by both teams. Both teams displayed great defensive pressure on their respective opponents. Late in the first quarter the teams were evenly placed at 10 goals each, prior to Ravens edging ahead to enter the first break with a slim lead of 12 goals to 11. The second quarter started where the first quarter finished off, with all players working hard for effective passing opportunities throughout the court. The Ravens made the most of a few opportunities that resulted in them outscoring the Magpies by three goals. This provided the Ravens with a handy lead going into the main break 23 to 19.

The Ravens further extended their lead in the third quarter with a few quick unanswered goals, which resulted in the score being 34 to 26. The Magpies were now in unfamiliar territory having convincingly won their first two games. They fought hard to close the gap to six goals during the final quarter before the Ravens surged again. At the final whistle the Ravens were victorious 47 to 35.

In the 16s the Ravens hit the court running with strong and physical defence combined with accurate shooting. The Magpies attack was under pressure which resulted in some early unforced errors. Jenna Begley was strong through the centre court, and with some accurate shooting from Jordan Sapsford, the scoreline saw the young Magpies down by a mere goal with the score, 9 - 10 at the end of the first period. The Magpies were more prepared at the start of the second quarter, with Kalani Bate-Henry and Dakota Nelmes rebounding strongly in defence. Felicity Watson also took to the court and worked hard through the centre, with Tasmin Falconer pushing hard against tight defence. The period included tough contests and several intercepted Magpies passes, resulting in a half-time score of 15 - 20 in favour of the Ravens.

Sally Conroy entered the Magpies attack after the long break. The third period saw some lovely transitions into the Magpies' attacking third, however, there was too much space given to all Ravens players, which when coupled with accurate shooting and physical defence, saw Blackwood stretch their lead to six at the end of the third term, 24 - 30. Elle Mullumby re-entered the game for the final term and applied strong pressure through the centre court. Coach Beth Stokes swapped Emma Jackson from GS to GA. The Ravens continued to shoot accurately, particularly from long range. The Magpies were starting to tire and appeared to be half a step behind the Ravens for most of the last quarter with Dakota Nelmes exiting the game injured, the Ravens ran out the period with tight and well-drilled plays, taking the game 45-36.

The Magpies now have a bye, with Round 4 being played at the Geographe Leisure Centre on April 28; League and 16s both playing at 12 noon.