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SWNFL 2023: Varying results in early rounds prove it is anyone’s game

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Augusta-Margaret River's Dominie Scott defends against Busselton's Mia Pethybridge.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Dominie Scott defends against Busselton's Mia Pethybridge. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

With the 2023 South West Netball Football League on a break for the Easter long weekend, journalist Carly Laden takes a look at how the competition is shaping up so far.

League

While the 2023 SWNFL season is in its early stages, Eaton have already emerged as an early front-runner, having recorded two consecutive wins over Donnybrook-Blackwood and Busselton to take top spot on the ladder.

However, Bunbury and Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault are also undefeated with a win each following big wins over Carey Park in rounds one and two respectively.

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Augusta-Margaret River and reigning premiers Busselton round out the top five with 1-1 records, followed by Donnybrook-Blackwood, Carey Park and South Bunbury yet to win a match.

Despite what statistics may show, the expansion of the division from six teams to eight, along with fierce and intense contests on the court, shows it is anyone’s game.

South Bunbury's Nyrobi Zuiderwyk defends against Augusta-Margaret River's Misty Shipway.
Camera IconSouth Bunbury's Nyrobi Zuiderwyk defends against Augusta-Margaret River's Misty Shipway. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Reserves

They might have only played one game out of two rounds so far but Donnybrook Blackwood seem to be on the right track in their path to redemption.

The Ravens currently sit in top spot of the reserves ladder following their 60-38 win over Eaton in round one.

However, the Ravens have some strong competition on their tail with the likes of South Bunbury, Bunbury, Mercy-Leschenault-Collie, Carey Park, HBL and Eaton all sitting on one win each.

Busselton and Harvey Bulls are the remaining teams yet to record a win.

Donnybrook Blackwood Masters managed their first win last weekend against Dunsborough.
Camera IconDonnybrook Blackwood Masters managed their first win last weekend against Dunsborough. Credit: Donnybrook Blackwood Ravens

Masters

Competition is already shaping up to be an interesting one in the SWNFL’s masters division, with just percentage separating the top teams.

Three-time premiers Carey Park currently hold top spot following their round one 52-29 win over Bunbury, but are closely followed by MLC after their 49-28 win over South Bunbury, setting up an exciting match-up against each other for round three.

Eaton, Donnybrook Blackwood and Bunbury round out the top five of the SWNFL’s smallest division with a win each, while South Bunbury and Dunsborough are yet to clinch a victory.

Dunsborough Sharks made their debut in the Masters competition last weekend.
Camera IconDunsborough Sharks made their debut in the Masters competition last weekend. Credit: Dunsborough Sharks Netball Club

18 & Under

There might have only been two rounds but Eaton have already established themselves as early front-runners with two wins under their belt, defeating Donnybrook Blackwood (49-21) and Busselton (59-48).

However, Eaton will likely have some tough competition on their tail in the weeks to come, with Bunbury, MLC, South Bunbury and Busselton currently sitting behind them with a win each.

One team that has certainly hit the ground running is Augusta-Margaret River, who currently sit in sixth place with a 1-2 record having already played three matches in two weeks, two of which were during round one.

Following the Easter break, AMR will not be resting until round seven, when they have their first official bye of the season.

Bringing up the rear are Dunsborough (1-1), Donnybrook Blackwood (0-2) and Carey Park (0-1).

16 & Under

During the early stages of the 16 & under competition, only two teams have played both rounds so far: Carey Park and Donnybrook Blackwood.

Despite having the opportunity to get more premiership points on the board, both the Ravens and the Panthers have fallen short in their respective matches, leaving them in fifth and sixth place on the ladder respectively.

Although the division’s top four teams all have one win each, a 60-17 smashing over Carey Park in round one has given Bunbury a huge percentage boost to hold top spot, followed by HBL, Dunsborough and Eaton.

Mercy-Leschenault-Collie and South Bunbury are the remaining two teams yet to officially begin their respective 2023 campaigns, with MLC taking on Carey Park, while South Bunbury will go up against Eaton during round three next weekend.

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