Abby’s back: Booleroo’s Lightning

Our SA Lightning basketball team started their 2017-18 campaign with a strong win over last season’s premiers, the Sydney University Flames, at Titanium Arena on Friday evening.

It was a triumphant return for Booleroo Centre-born Abby Bishop who will lead the Lightning for this campaign. The Lightning was 14 points up at quarter time after a brilliant start and finished with an 11-point victory over the Flames.

Bishop finished with eight points along with three rebounds and was credited with five assists.

They had a road trip to Canberra on Sunday, and while the Lightning went down by seven goals, 84 to 77, Bishop was even more impressive against her former team, scoring 21 points and grabbing five rebounds.

She is a former WNBL player of the year and returns to her home state after a significant career both in our country and America, along with donning the basketball singlet for her country in the Australian Opals.

O’DEA IMPRESSES

Playing for the SA Outbacks in trials against West Torrens on Saturday and Tea Tree Gully on Sunday, Pekina cricketer Brodie O’Dea impressed with strong performances on both days.

Opening the batting in the trial against the Eagles on Saturday, O’Dea made a brilliant 56 showing composure and a range of strokes.

He backed this up with another solid performance in the Sunday clash with the Gullies making 25 and giving himself a strong chance of making his SA Outback debut at the National Country Cricket Championships this year in Geraldton, WA, during early January

LOCALS COLLECT EAGLES ACCOLADES

Along with Jack Hayes sharing the “player’s player” award, two other local talents were given accolades at the Woodville West Torrens best and fairest awards on AFL grand final eve.

Both BSR Tiger Jackson Lee and South Clare’s Daniel Minney received their first opportunities at SANFL league level during the season. Midfielder Lee was honoured with the reserves best and fairest award while rover/small forward Minney was the runner-up.

TOMORROW’S NETBALL STARS

The Northern Regional Netball Academy competed in the Netball SA Academy Games last week

Coached by Deb Heinjus it had a number of NENA and NANA talents among the 2018 squad which played at Priceline Stadium.

The NENA contingent included Caitlin Bennie, Abby Griffiths, Alyssa Pawelski, Gracie Ross, Kasey Bigg, Katie Lewcock, Georgina Meyer, Lucy Meyer, Madeline O’Dea, Isabella Rawlings and Lucy Wilsdon.

From the Northern Areas there was Jacqueline Couzner, Chloe O’Dea, Scarlett Tod, Elise Roocke, Tess Kitschke and Mya Mesecke.

Heinjus’ assistants included Toni McCallum, Vicki Renshaw and Diane Allen, while Kellie Vasek was the program manager.

“Both teams were competitive,” Heinjus said.

“Among the performances the division one girls came from behind to achieve a draw against the Eyre Peninsula and showed great endeavour against the Northern Metro side. The division two side played the highly-skilled Metro teams and show tremendous spirit against classy opponents.

“Unfortunately neither side made the finals but it’s been a good learning curve for the girls. We had a number of lower age players, I would suggest more than a number of other academies, so our future looks bright.”

SIZE PLAYS BIG ROLE

Former North Clare footballer and Clare Combined cricketer Joel Size was a member of the SA Redbacks under 17s team which finished fourth overall at the 2017 national cricket championships in Brisbane, Qld, which culminated last week.

Size, a robust quick bowler, finished with the best figures of 3/65 from nine overs in the round two match against Victorian Metro. Opening the bowling for the majority of the tournament, Size currently plays with East Torrens in the SACA.