Royals Saints’ revenge kicks off season

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold

An impressive first-up performance from Royals Saints 1 helped them exact revenge over Kangas 1 in the grand final rematch to kick off the opening round of the Albany Netball Association A1 competition on Saturday afternoon.

Fielding just two players from last season’s premiership team, Kangas were on the back foot early, as the young and skilful Royals Saints skipped ahead, but veteran Kate Minter and the on-target forward Marcia Trevenen helped Kangas stay in touch.

Trailing by two goals at the first break, Kangas scored the first three goals of the second term to hit the front, but from there, Royals Saints took over.

Kangas' Kirsty Smith with possession.
Camera IconKangas' Kirsty Smith with possession. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Led by young centre Sophie Lynch and hard-working mid-court player Taylah Orzel, Royals Saints piled on the next nine goals as they took the game out of Kangas’ grasp.

Nardia Humphries nailed six of her nine attempts and was joined in the goal circle by Carly Szcezecinski, who chipped in with five goals in the second term, as Royals Saints outscored the premiers 11-5.

Royals Saints' Nardia Humphries with possession.
Camera IconRoyals Saints' Nardia Humphries with possession. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Minter returned to centre after spending the second quarter on the bench and provided more drive for Kangas but they were unable to trim the eight-goal half-time deficit.

Szcezecinski added six more goals in the third as Royals Saints extended the margin, before young shooting combination Humphries and Ashleigh Smith helped their side run out comfortable 12-goal winners in the final term.

Humphries was superb for the winners, nailing 17 goals at 74 per cent, while Szcezecinski (11 goals from 16 attempts) and Smith (9 from 15) were also effective in the 37-25 result.

Royals Saints' Ashleigh Smith lines up the goal.
Camera IconRoyals Saints' Ashleigh Smith lines up the goal. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Royals Saints coach Chrissie Smith was impressed by her side’s opening-round performance.

“I’m very proud of the girls,” she said.

“Eb (Powell) and Soph (Lynch) in their first game of A1 and our defence was brilliant.

“Lisa Amess was strong all game and Nardia shot really well and I thought Taylah gave us great drive at centre but we never beat Kangas 1 last year so it’s exciting.

“We are looking forward to the season.”

Trevenen and Jodi Ferry were the only two premiership players to take the court for Kangas 1 but despite a number of new recruits including Minter and former Michelle Parsons winner Rachel Willcocks, they were no match for their opponents.

Willcocks led the way in defence along with Minter in mid-court and Ferry at wing defence, but sloppy passes and poor shooting proved costly, Kangas going at 50 per cent as a team in attack led by 16 goals from Trevenen.

“We only have two from last season so we are a very new team,” Kangas coach Trish Hines said.

“It was a good starting point and we’ll build from there.

“They are a well-drilled team with a lot of young players as well.”

In the other results, Magpies 1 led at every change on their way to a 10-goal win over Kangas 2, while Grammar 1 thumped Narrikup 1, 42-20.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails