Reigning premiers Panthers prevail over newly formed Flames outfit in tough match while Williams also notch first win in round one
Premiers of the last two years Pingelly Panthers began the new Narrogin and Districts Netball Association season with a hard-fought win over the newly formed Flames 1 outfit on Saturday afternoon.
In a highly anticipated round 1 fixture, Pingelly and Flames had a terrific battle from the opening whistle.
The Flames team, consisting of players in their mid-teens to early 20s, could have been daunted by their experienced opponents, but the high-level competition was no hurdle for the younger Flames squad.
Strong match-ups between Flames’ Jessica Daniels and Tayla Curtis in defence and Pingelly’s shooters Sheree Blechynden and Tracey Swami delighted from the beginning.
Daniels strongly contested all passes and was successful in coming away with some exciting wins against the somewhat taller Blechynden, but experience prevailed in the Pingelly shooting combination as they rebounded any missed shots strongly to help the Panthers take an 18-9 first quarter advantage.
The battle in the mid-court between Pingelly’s Rheannon Turton and Flames’ Piper Edwards and new recruit Amelia Sherry showcased plenty of skill and fitness.
Pingelly’s defensive line-up remained unchanged with Angela Ryan in wing defence, Melissa Tinker in goal defence and Chloe Hanson as goalkeeper.
The trio worked seamlessly together, with Ryan holding her ever-changing wing attack opponent away from circle’s edge.
Tinker provided her usual relentless close checking and around the body contests for low balls against Flames’ very aerial Chelsea Mulcahy and Hanson, winning several strong rebounds and intercepts.
Flames had a versatile bench of talent to choose from, while fresh legs were not a luxury for the Pingelly squad, who had a few key players away and injured.
Pingelly did enough to prevail in the season opener, downing their younger opponents 59-39 in the end.
In the first A1 match of the round, Williams 1 began on a winning note as they defeated Olympics Gold 50-36.
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