Swans strive to stay perched on top

SWAN Hill will be striving to stay top of A-grade netball in this season’s Central Murray FNL action.

The Swans pursuit of back-to-back premierships begins on April 13 when they play on Woorinen’s court.

A memorable clash between Swan Hill and Lake Boga which went into overtime capped last September’s grand final day.

Scores were 41-all at regular time and it was the Swans who lifted their play to win the extra 10 minutes, 9-3, and claim a 50-44 victory.

Best on court honours went to Ingrid Condely from Swan Hill.

The Swans had fought back from a 43-42 loss to Lake Boga in the second semi to beat Mallee Eagles in the preliminary final by five goals.

A week later and the Swans were crowned the league’s best of 2023.

This year it will be Madeleine Nalder, Kelsey McCoy and Mollie Quin who team up to coach Swan Hill’s A-grade squad.

Lake Boga’s run to its first grand final appearance in more than two decades was built on strong teamwork and the coaching prowess of Anne-Marie Stewart.

A premiership-winning coach at Swan Hill and Woorinen, Stewart made an impressive comeback to coaching after a lengthy absence from netball.

The Magpies had a 15-1 run in last season’s home-and-away series and are likely to figure as a strong contender for this year’s flag.

With Stewart in charge, Sheridan Harrop will be assistant coach of Lake Boga’s A-grade line-up.

Lake Boga has a bye on April 13 and hosts Balranald on April 20.

The Magpies’ coaching panel is Jo Hepburn, A-reserve; Steph Anderson, B-grade; Breanna Dickson, B-reserve; Felicity Roberson, 17-under; Taigan O’Shannassy, 15-under; Kara Lierich, 13-under; and Belinda Davies, 13-under reserve.

Assistant coaches are Jazmin Ewart, 17-under; Eloise Storer, 15-under; Ruby King, 13-under; and Montana Davies, 13-under reserve.

Fourth last year, Woorinen meets the reigning premier in the opening round.

A bonus for the yellow and black is playing on their court.

The Tayla Bennett-coached Tigers will be fired up for the match of the round.

Last season the yellow and black achieved a win-loss tally of 14-2.

Coaches of the Tigers teams in ’24 are Jamiee Beasy, A-reserve; Remi Maher and Melissa Rushton, 17-and-under; Toni Bolton, 15-and-under; Tenay Fellows and Lily Chaproniere, 13-and-under; Chloe Twentyman and Gabrielle Boerg, 13-and-under reserve.

Bundled out in week one of the ’23 finals series, Balranald will be determined to bounce back.

Jess Parry and Elli Pollard are coaching the Kangaroos’ A-grade team which will be on its court at Greenham Park to play Kerang in round one.

A high for the Kangaroos was classy defender Hannah Morton being the first recipient of the Julie Wardle Medal as league fairest and best.

The A-reserve team is also being coached by Jess Parry and Elli Pollard.

Other coaches for Balranald are Kristy Helgeland, B-grade; Sarah Potter, B-reserve; Sarah Campbell, 17-and-under; Macy Lloyd, 13-and-under; Bree Hodgson, 13-and-under reserve.

The Kangaroos do not have a 15-and-under team.

Fifth at the end of last season’s home and away series, Mallee Eagles stunned rivals to win the elimination final by seven  goals and the first semi by six goals.

Mallee’s run was ended in a 54-59 result against Swan Hill in the preliminary final.

Jess Jobling and Alicia Harvey team up to coach the Eagles A-grade and A-reserve teams.

The Eagles play Tooleybuc-Manangatang at Tooleybuc in round one.

Other coaches for Mallee Eagles are Charlie Hovenden, B-grade; Alyssa Talbot, B-reserve; Christine O’Meara, 17-and-under; Deb Parsons, 15-and-under; Katherine Bissett and Samantha McKenzie, 13-and-under; Alix O’Meara and Dakota Meehan, 13-and-under reserve.

An 8-8 record meant Kerang finished last season in sixth place.

The Chloe Adams-coached Blues will be determined to make their way into the top five.

Tough task first-up on Balranald’s court at Greenham Park on April 13.

Tyntynder is at home on April 13 to play Cohuna Kangas.

The Kelsey Rowe-coached Tyntynder will be determined to improve on last season’s record of five wins, one draw, 10 defeats.

Other coaches for the red, white and blue are Demi Hallam, A-reserve; Kristy Kelly, B-grade; Chandelle Hazlett, B-reserve; Caitlin Bartalotta, 17-and-under; Teagan Lawry and Taylah Woodward, 15-and-under; Nonie Domaille and Penee Laughlin, 13-and-under; Myah Monk, 13-and-under reserve.

The Lauran Anderson-coached Nyah Nyah West United is another team keen to lift after a 5-11 tally in the ’23 campaign.

The NNWU Demons will bring the heat to Barham on April 13 when it plays the Koondrook Barham River Raiders.

Cohuna Kangas make their way to Tyntynder for the season opener.

Georgia Anderson will coach the A-grade and A-reserve teams from Cohuna.

Other members of the Kangas coaching panel are Catrina Robinson, B-grade,  B-reserve, 17-and-under; Sammi Moon, 15-and-under; Daisy McGlone, 13-and-under; Marli Easton, 13-and-under reserve.

Assistant coaches are Ebony Black, 15-and-under; Lilly Guerin, 13-and-under; and Grace Jones, 13-and-under reserve.

Last season Cohuna had a 4-12 record.

Tooleybuc Manangatang is another club determined to rack up more wins after just two victories and a draw last season.

Malanie Wait is coach of the Saints who will have home-court advantage for the first round showdown with Mallee Eagles.

Other coaches for the Saints are Natalie Plant, A-reserve; Morgan Tacken, B-grade; Rachael Hoare, B-reserve; Natalie Plant, 17-and-under; Jess Bull and Maddy Hulands, 15-and-under; Melanie Wait, 13-and-under; and Hayley Caddy, 13-and-under reserve.

Winless last season, Koondrook Barham treks to Barham on April 13 to face Nyah Nyah West United.

The Grant Matthews-coached River Raiders will be doing all they can to put out the Demons fire.