Around the Courts: Division 2 Grand Finals

Around the Courts: Division 2 Grand Finals

By Stephanie Smarrelli

A Grade

A tight contest between Crib Point and Langwarrin saw the Magpies swoop on their third premiership, winning the A Grade grand final by four goals.

Langwarrin had a fast start to the match with shooters Brooke Kiely and Emily Bennet working well in the goal circle. Bennet, in particular, was good at driving and opening up room for Kiely while also confidently slotting goal after goal herself.

While Crib Point were a little slower to settle into the match with a few misplaced passes and some strong intercepts from the Kangaroos defenders putting them behind by four goals to start the match.

Crib Point went goal-for-goal with Langwarrin for much of the second quarter with goal shooter Ebony McDermott and goal attack Karly Wappett holding strong in the goal circle and shooting accurately.

While midcourters Belinda Nerantzoulis and Dionne Douglas worked themselves into the match more by hitting the circle edge and feeding accurately into the circle.

Langwarrin maintained their first-quarter efforts in the second and went into the halftime break still four goals up.

The third quarter was the turning point of the match for Crib Point as the Magpies found their rhythm.

Defender Tessa Moncrieff did a wealth of work to intercept the ball and jump up for the rebounds alongside fellow defender Shaye Williams.

While the rest of the Magpies gelled together to transition the ball smoothly down the court and made it hard for the Kangaroos to disrupt their momentum.

Winning the third quarter by three goals, Crib Point were only trailing by one goal at the final break.

As the pressure mounted on the Kangaroos, they became hot-headed and started to rush their passes. As the communication between Langwarrin began to fall so did their connections and they quickly faded from the match.

Crib Point’s Moncrieff and Williams continued to work well in defence with wing defence Kellie Davidson also doing well to shut down her opponent and forced Langwarrin to look for other options.

In the goal circle, McDermott and Wappett stayed calm and collected as they rotated through the goal circle to shake the tight defensive pressure from Langwarrin’s Jayde Aron and Emily Zeuschner.

Crib Point’s ability to stay calm and fight through the match saw them come from behind and win the premiership with the final score 40 to 36.

Best on court went to Crib Point’s centre Dionne Douglas who stood up and balanced her attacking drives with defensive intercepts and deflections to help her side take the lead in the fourth quarter and was strong throughout the match.

Speaking after the win Crib Point coach Adrienne Harris thanked her teammates for being there for her this year after doing her ACL earlier in the season and expressed how proud she was of them.

“To my girls, you guys have been an amazing rock for me this year and it goes to show that this club and this team is more than just netballers. You don’t keep 10 people together over 10 years for any reason other than being family so I’m super proud of all of you today and thanks for bringing it home for me.

Speaking to shooter Ebony McDermott after the match she said the team really wanted to win after their grand final loss last year and also wanted to do it for Adrienne.

“We were so hungry for this one and we really wanted to get across the line for Adrienne,” McDermott said.

Going into the match she said they were nervous but knew they could get over the line if they backed each other.

“We were all really nervous but I think that we were really positive in terms of knowing what we had to do to get over the line which was; stick together, keep our heads up and if something didn’t go our way just back each other up because in the past that’s where we’ve really fallen down, been negative and let little things get to us,” McDermott said.

With that in mind, McDermott said she thought one of her team’s strengths on court in the grand final was in backing each other up.

“We just kept our cool, backed each other up when we needed to. There’s obviously a few calls we don’t agree with and a few goals even I missed, you get down on but you have your girls to back you up and they really get you through the line,” she said.

B Grade

Somerville stunned an undefeated Karingal to win the B Grade grand final by 12 goals on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles came out firing from the first centre pass with sharp shooting from Maria Neophytou and Madeline Roberts helping Somerville to convert from turnovers.

Karingal had trouble transitioning smoothly from one end to the other and as a result, found themselves six goals down at the first break.

In the second quarter Somerville defenders Kristy Marshall, Amy Olston and Briony Kelly did a wealth of work to confuse the space and create turnovers.

The Bullettes played their best quarter in the second with centre Peyton Rowe feeding well into the goal circle.

Shooters Kyla Venter and Rebecca Graham were accurate when they went to post and in defence, Melanie Cotta took every opportunity she could to interrupt Somerville’s flow.

However, Karingal lost the quarter by two goals and went into the second half eight goals down.

A tight third quarter saw momentum swing the way of both teams for periods, however, Somerville extended their lead and went into the final quarter with a strong nine-goal lead.

Determined not to let Karingal back into the match, Somerville worked hard across the court with hands-over pressure to prevent Karingal from as many opportunities as they could.

The Somerville midcourters were careful with every possession and were pinpoint with their feeds into the goal circle, making it hard for the Bullettes to stop the Eagles’ shooters.

The final score was 36 to 24 with the Eagles finally getting a win over Karingal this season on the day it mattered most.

Best on court went to Somerville centre Jade Finn who was instrumental throughout the match for the Eagles.

C Grade

The Bullettes charged in the C Grade premiership match with Karingal defeating Red Hill by 13 goals.

Red Hill started the match well with goal shooter Mikayla Leyonhjelm and Abbie King working well in the goal circle to drive in and provided space for each other.

Karingal were also solid in the first quarter with wing defence Kiah Steele intercepting a pass in the midcourt that then led goal attack Leah McCartney to a goal for the Bullettes.

At the end of the first quarter, Red Hill was one goal up, however, the Bullettes settled into the match and kept Red Hill to only six goals for the quarter while they scored 11.

Goal defence Brittany Earle did well to keep her opponent further out from the goal circle and wing defence Steele continued to get a hand to as many passes as possible.

Karingal wing attack Tayla Sutton worked well with centre Jessica Fletcher to open up space in their attacking third and accurately feed into shooters Stephanie Spicer and McCartney.

At halftime, the match still was up for grabs with Karingal’s lead only four goals.

Knowing Red Hill could still comeback, the Bullettes continued to charge in the third quarter scoring another 11 goals and kept Red Hill to their lowest of the match.

Red Hill began to fumble with their possessions as hands-over pressure forced Red Hill to pass backwards rather than forwards on a few occasions, the longer it took for them to work the ball into their goal circle, the easier it was for Karingal to force them into making errors.

Karingal’s defensive unit continued to cause trouble for Red Hill with the footwork and arms from the Bullettes causing passes in Red Hill’s goal circle to be deflected, intercepted or go out of court in the third quarter.

While their midcourt helped to seamlessly transition the ball into attack.

10 goals, down at the final break Red Hill came out with a better quarter to try to work their way back into the match, however, it was too late for them with Karingal winning the quarter by three goals.

Once again, the defensive work from Karingal was Red Hill’s undoing as they struggled to land their connections down the court under the pressure.

The final score was 42 to 29 with Karingal capping off their unbeaten season with a deserving title.

Best on court went to Karingal’s goal attack Leah McCartney who shot 30 of her team’s goals.

D Grade

Karingal finish the 2019 season undefeated and claimed the D Grade premiership with a thrilling one-goal win over Chelsea.

An even first quarter saw the teams shoot goal-for-goal with nothing separating them at the first break.

Karingal were a little more composed than their opponents in the second quarter with their transition from one end to the other smooth and shooters Isabelle Caller and Beth Nicoll accurate under the net.

Only two goals up at halftime, Karingal didn’t slow in the third quarter.  

In defence, the Bullettes’ goal defence did a wealth of work with Taylah Paxton and goal keeper Melissa Scott deflecting plenty of balls into the goal circle, while wing defence Tahlia Poulier did well to intercept as well.

While in their attack end, wing attack Ellie Matongo and centre Chantelle Thompson, paired well together to drive to the circle edge and feed cleanly into their shooters.

However, defensively Chelsea kept up with hands-over pressure resulting in a few turnovers going their way.

The teams were neck-and-neck in the third quarter with both teams finishing with an equal eight goals for the term, meaning Karingal went into the final quarter two goals up.

Chelsea had the first centre pass, however, Karingal wing attack Matongo intercepted the ball in the midcourt but then a misplaced feed in their attacking third brought Chelsea back into possession with goal attack Kate Webster confidently slotting the goal.

Seagull’s goal keeper Alexandra Wendt, was impressive in defence with her work around the body of her opponents resulting in a gain and another goal. 

With scores now level and the centre pass in their favour the Seagulls only needed one goal to steal the lead, however, a missed goal and well-timed rebound from Karingal goal keeper Melissa Scott halted their momentum.

With Karingal sending the ball back to their goal circle though, Seagull’s goal keeper Wendt then rebounded as well with goal attack Webster then shooting Chelsea ahead.

Then another mistake from Karingal saw Chelsea slip ahead by two goals, however, the Bullettes weren’t about to let the match slip away from them. Applying plenty of hands-over pressure, Karingal tricked Chelsea into rushing their passes which resulted in some stepping calls and an offside against Chelsea going against the Seagulls.

Making the most of the opportunities, Karingal reigned the margin back went goal-for-goal, with deflection after deflection interrupting smooth transitions into either goal circle.

As the timer ticked down, the centre pass fell into Karingal’s favour with the final score reading 27 to 26.

Best on court went to Chelsea’s Breanna Locastro who throughout the match provided plenty of options for the Seagulls to pass to and kept the defensive pressure on Karingal.

Speaking to Karingal wing attack Ellie Matongo after the match she was elated to have won the premiership on her 18th birthday and said she was proud of the game her teammates played.

“I think regardless of the noise and what was happening we just played our game in the end and that’s what we always do best so I’m really proud of the girls, Matongo said.

Under 17s

Seaford defeated Chelsea by 15 goals in the Under 17s grand final on Saturday morning.

The first half of the match was fairly even with Chelsea only down by one goal at halftime.

However, the Tigers struck in the third quarter with the defensive pressure from Seaford keeping the Seagulls to only six goals while shooters Jessica Tetley and Emma Johnstone combined for a 15-goal quarter.

Seaford then continued to apply pressure and controlled the last quarter of the match to win the premiership 41 to 26.

Best on court went to Seaford goal defence Hannah Geers-Watson for her defensive work throughout the match.