WPL, Leaguetag, Hunters, hockey and AFL

GOALS: Jenna Kingsley scored for Warners Bay in their 1-0 win over South Wallsend on Thursday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
GOALS: Jenna Kingsley scored for Warners Bay in their 1-0 win over South Wallsend on Thursday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Herald Women’s Premier League reaches the end of the first round this weekend, Newcastle basketballing great Suzy Batkovic hits the court for the Hunters, and the inaugural Newcastle Rugby League ladies leaguetag competition begins. 

Panthers shoot for more goals in WPL

Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis said there remained plenty to work on out of their 1-0 midweek win over South Wallsend but felt the performance proved a confidence boost for the defending Herald Women’s Premier League champions.

The rescheduled round-four match was played at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Thursday night and Davis said the smooth surface was conducive to the fluidity of their attacking combinations.

“I thought we played really well … and now I think the girls realise they can play football, that they can do things that they haven’t been able to this season,” Davis said.

The win put the Panthers on level terms with unbeaten Merewether at the top of the league ladder but Davis said finishing needed to be better and they must show more urgency in defence if they want to continue to be one of the competition pace-setters.

They host Mid North Coast at John Street Oval in round-seven action on Sunday.

“Scoring goals is one thing,” Davis said. “We created a lot of chances [against South Wallsend] but only finished the one.

“Imo [Imogene Tomasone] is a good keeper and everyone knows that she can stop anything that comes at her, so we need to be better in front of goal.

“We also need to make sure that we don’t let Soph [Sophie Jones] and Shannon [Day] turn and run on the ball, because they’re dangerous with the ball at their feet.

“And we need to be a bit tighter at the back. We’re still working on attacking the ball and not letting their striker come off and receive the ball and turn and run.”

Merewether travel to Thornton to take on the winless Redbacks. The match is the first of three in eight days for United, who are still without key midfielder Jane McDonald through unavailability and suspended goalkeeper Alison Logue. They do however welcome back W-League striker Rhali Dobson, who missed the past couple of matches as she was overseas.

Adamstown play their first game in three weeks when they take on Wallsend at The Gardens.

It is the first of three matches in seven days for Rosebud, who play Merewether in a rescheduled fixture on Wednesday night.

All games kick off on Sunday at 2.15pm.

Suzy takes the court with Hunters

Five-time WNBL MVP Suzy Batkovic, fresh from signing a contract extension with the Townsville Fire for 2018, arrived in the region on Thursday afternoon and headed straight to training to meet her new teammates.

The 36-year-old makes her highly-anticipated senior debut for the Hunters at Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Saturday against Bankstown.

The Hunters back up to host Ku-Ring-Gai on Sunday.

Saturday’s game tips off at 5pm and the Hunters women play at 1pm on Sunday.

Leaguetag makes history

The first round of the Newcastle Rugby League ladies leaguetag is on Saturday.

South Newcastle take on Maitland at Townson Oval (10.40am), Lakes United play Macquarie at Cahill Oval (11.10am), Wests Newcastle meet Cessnock at Harker Oval (11.10am) and Kurri Kurri host Central Newcastle at Kurri Kurri Sportsground (11.10am).

Black Diamond Women’s AFL

Defending champions Nelson Bay face their toughest test of the season to date when they take on Gosford at Dick Burwell Oval on Saturday.

Both teams are undefeated after two rounds and this should be a hard-fought battle.

The local derby between Warners Bay and Cardiff looks poised to be another tight one when they do battle at Feighan Oval.

They have both recorded one win and one loss from their two outings so far this season and will be equally keen to glean some more competition points. 

Singleton are at home to Maitland, Lake Macquarie host Wyong Lakes, Killarney Vale play Newcastle and winless Muswellbrook meet unbeaten Newcastle City.

Newcastle Central Coast Premier League

Hockey action resumes this weekend at the International Hockey Centre at Broadmeadow with defending premiers Central taking on Tigers (1.45pm), Souths playing Gosford (4.15pm) and Regals going head-to-head with Oxfords (3pm) in what is expected to be the match of the round.

Erina do battle with Avoca on the Central Coast.

Let us know your women’s sports news at r.valentine@fairfaxmedia.com.au.