In brushing neighbour Loxton aside 58-37 in last Friday night’s opening to the 2016 A1 Netball competition 2015 runner up Loxton North gave every indication it will be an even stronger team this year.
Tall newcomer Helen Preece, who earlier spent some six seasons in the Renmark junior ranks, was impressive immediately while in an even all court combination Marlee George also started the season in top form.
‘Pressure for places’ in the team is always a good coach’s weapon and Kylie Wooldridge certainly has a deep pool of talent at her disposal to choose from.
For Loxton Hollie Bullock and Eve Will stood up to the pressure best. With the experience of players like Leah Uren and Jackie Dahlitz apparently missing this season this could be something of a rebuilding year for Loxton.
In the other A1 match a newlook defending champion, Renmark, defeated an extremely young Waikerie comfortably 64-32.
New coach Lynn Leuders is fortunate to have so many juniors available fron her club’s splendid junior program to replace such talents as Sophie Croft, Hannah Foody, Tegan Moldovan and Sonja Modlinski. In Friday night’s outing the Renmark stand outs were Reeni Leuders and Dana Woolford.
Named best for Waikerie were juniors Chloe Linke and Connie Griffiths.
Berri had the bye in round one following the unfortunate withdrawal of Barmera from the competition. Vaughan Terrace ‘rumours’ suggest that Berri coach Chris Eleftheriadis may have some surprises in store.
The reduced competition certainly needs a strong Berri.
In A2 grade there were much closer contests.
Loxton North (Jasmine Merkx, Sarah Arnold) 42 won against Loxton Black (Chelsea Gutsche, Brontie Phillips) 35, Renmark (Morgan Pfitzner, Baillie Trenwith) 35 beat Loxton Gold (Joanne Hondow, Aimee Holmes) 31 and Berri (Caitlin Prior, Kara Hank) defeated Barmera (Hannah Spronk, Jenna Selfe) 33-30.
It is encouraging to see that Barmera still has players of the calibre of Spronk and Selfe in its ranks.