Williams secured a place in the Narrogin and Districts Netball Association A1 grand final

Nan SteerNarrogin Observer
Olympics’ Jaelyn Ranieri takes control of the ball in the circle.
Camera IconOlympics’ Jaelyn Ranieri takes control of the ball in the circle. Credit: Emma Taylor

Williams 1 secured a place in the Narrogin and Districts Netball Association A1 grand final by virtue of their tense three-goal win over Olympics Gold in round seven on Saturday afternoon.

In an exciting and hard-fought game, Williams came out fast as strong passing by Erikah Cowcher through the mid-court to link up with teammates Akaila Pannell and Abbi Battely helped create turnovers that were successfully converted by their shooters Clare and Megan Hardie.

Despite the best efforts by Olympics shooters Ashtyn Steer and Tanya Hart to combine against the tight defence of Williams sisters Lilli and Maddie Petchell, Williams took the lead at the end of the first quarter 15-10.

Olympics’ Lee Conlan looks to pass over Williams’ Maddy Petchell
Camera IconOlympics’ Lee Conlan looks to pass over Williams’ Maddy Petchell Credit: Emma Taylor

The game turned around in the second quarter after changes were made by both sides.

Melita Davey dropped to defence, with Careese Ranieri and the combination of agile rebounding and strong interceptions proving highly effective against the height of Clare Hardie.

Sarah Overington worked hard to shut down Megan Hardie’s entry to the circle.

Williams’ Akaila Pannell passes off as Olympics’ Lee Conlan defends.
Camera IconWilliams’ Akaila Pannell passes off as Olympics’ Lee Conlan defends. Credit: Emma Taylor

Lauren Schutz came on in the mid-court for Williams but could not stop the teamwork of Lee Conlan and Bri McWhirter to feed the Olympics shooters, led by the impressive poise of Jaelyn Ranieri.

Ranieri helped Olympics level the scores at 26 goals apiece at half-time.

Olympics played well to outscore Williams at the end of the third quarter by two goals, with continued strong efforts by Olympics’ defence and Ellen Smith stepping in to continue the work denying entry to the circle for Megan Hardie.

Olympics’ Sarah Overington passes as Williams’ Abbi Battely defends.
Camera IconOlympics’ Sarah Overington passes as Williams’ Abbi Battely defends. Credit: Emma Taylor

Both teams gave their all in the final quarter in a physical game controlled well by umpires Alex Hodges and Rheannon Turton, but strong play from Williams in the final five minutes helped them win the game by three goals, 48-45.

The victory secured a top-two spot for Williams and set up a final against Pingelly 1 in a fortnight, given Williams are five points clear in second spot.

In the other A1 match, Pingelly recorded their sixth win of the season, downing Flames 1 55-48.

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