Wirrulla wins Mid West netball grand final rematch

Wirrulla gained a measure of revenge for last season's grand final with a one-goal win against Western Districts in the opening round of the 2019 Mid West Netball Association season at Poochera on Saturday.

The reigning premiers could not get the campaign off to a winning start as it ended 44-43 for the Bombers.

The first quarter started off in a steady fashion in the heat and the teams remained locked early on.

A few intercepts by the Wirrulla defenders as time ticked away saw the Bombers take a 14-10 lead at quarter-time.

It was another even start to the second term and both goal attacks - Sophie Kellett for Wirrulla and Courtney Hull for the Tigers - were shooting well, but Wirrulla managed to extend the lead to six by half-time.

A strong start to the third term saw Western Districts close the gap.

Helped by defenders Ysabelle Went and Charlee Murnane turning over a lot of the ball, the deficit was reduced to just two goals at the final break.

The fourth quarter was contested fiercely by both sides, but in the end it was Wirrulla coming out on top by the closest of margins.

Sarah Evans and Kellett led the way for the Bombers, while Tigers' pair Courtney Hull and Kelsey Hull played well.

In other results, Elliston started the season with a good win away to Wudinna United.

The Roosters secured a 22-goal success with a 51-29 result.

West Coast defeated Central Eyre by 12 goals in a high-scoring encounter.

Players were on fire under the ring, but the Hawks came away with a 67-55 victory.

In the B grade, Western Districts cruised to a 59-32 victory over Wirrulla.

Led by the impressive Bonnie Cheyne and Neve Tomney, the Tigers secured a 27-goal success.

Both teams started slowly as early-season rust came to the fore leading to mistakes and missed goals.

Districts discovered their accuracy to lead 14-8 at the break, but in the second quarter both teams found their drive down the court from the centre and in the heat the action was fast-paced.

Wirrulla caught up with the shooting accuracy yet the lead was extended to 11 goals by half-time.

Half-time changes helped the Bombers catch-up on a few goals which rattled Districts in the opening minutes of the third term.

The Tigers regained their composure to take a 42-28 lead into three-quarter time.

Both teams maintained energy levels on a warm day, although Districts' drive, intercepts and accuracy was too much as they dominated the final quarter.

Wudinna United downed Elliston in a thrilling contest.

There was only one goal in it as the Magpies grabbed an opening round 26-25 win.

The other match saw West Coast get the better of Central Eyre by 26 goals.

The Hawks dominated throughout as they started 2019 with a 62-36 result.

There was not much in a tight and tense C grade battle as Western Districts got the better of Wirrulla by nine goals.

In a low-scoring affair, the Tigers came away with a 29-20 victory.

Elsewhere, last season's defeated grand finalists Wudinna United got the better of Elliston by 10 goals.

The Magpies started the new year on the front foot with a 45-35 triumph.

Reigning champions West Coast also opened with a win as it downed Central Eyre by 32 goals.

It was a good start for the Hawks in coming away with a 54-22 result.

In the D grade, Wirrulla got the better of Western Districts with a 53-35 away win.

The other match saw West Coast start its championship defence in fine style, with a big victory against Central Eyre.

The Hawks were impressive at both ends of the court and won by 60 goals as it ended 70-10.

Central Eyre defeated West Coast 39-28 in the Junior A, while there were Junior B victories for Western Districts, Elliston and Central Eyre.