What a lovely day we had for our preliminary finals and our annual dinner this past weekend.
In 11 and Under Division 2 Ravens took on Warriors in what was one of many close matches for the day.
Warriors would have gone in clear favourites after finishing second on the ladder whereas Ravens were fourth and only just made finals. Ravens took the win 18-14.
This will give Ravens a huge confidence boost this weekend when they take on the undefeated YCW.
I think YCW will be too strong and while I hope for a close game, think YCW will win comfortably.
YCW and Roopena played off for a grand final place in 11 and Under Division 1.
Both teams having wins on the board against each other throughout the season meant this one could go either way. YCW edged away early but Roopena were able to reel them in a little in the third.
Lara Free was on fire in the last though and helped her team to get the win 18-11.
They will now take on Warriors who have been undefeated this season.
I think this will be a close one and Warriors will need to play good netball to stay ahead of YCW, but I do think they will win.
In 13 and Under Division 2 in was again Warriors and Ravens.
This time Warriors were the underdogs and it was Ravens that finished at the top of the ladder.
Warriors were able to get the win 29-22 and will now take on YCW who only just finished above Warriors on the ladder by percentage.
YCW have been impressive of late but I expect this one will come down to the wire and may just go into overtime.
Kiwi had a dominant win over Roopena in the 13’s Division 1 match, comfortably moving to the grand final 36-14.
Kiwi will now have their work cut out for them taking on the undefeated True Blue Blue team.
While I hope they make a contest of it, it’s hard to see them causing too many waves for True Blue who will win by at least 10.
Our closest game of the day went to the 15 and Under Division 2 between True Blue and Warriors.
Statistically both these teams were very evenly matched and it could have gone either way.
True Blue came out on top though defeated Warriors 32-29.
True Blue will once again have to play Ravens who are yet to lose a game.
I have a feeling if anyone is going to cause an upset they just may be the ones to do it. I will tip Ravens but only just.
In 15’s Division 1 Warriors Green came out hard and showed no mercy after their shock loss to True Blue last week. Unfortunately Kiwi were just no match in the end going down 59-26.
Warriors and True Blue will now face off again to see who can take out the premiership. This game has the potential to be a cracker, too close to call.
The biggest surprise this week came in the F Grade between Kiwi Red and True Blue. Kiwi Red finished top of the ladder after the minor rounds and lost last week to see them have to play in this weeks Prelim.
While True Blue finished third they really didn’t look to be in the same league as the top two finishers. They certainly showed differently this week when they came out firing and absolutely blew Kiwi away winning 47-26.
This week they now take on Roopena and while on paper I would say Roopena comfortably, True Blue certainly showed they are contenders this past weekend. If Roopena start well I can’t see them loosing.
E grade was fairly close all game between YCW Green and Kiwi Black. YCW were just able keep a few goals ahead and each break though and ultimately that’s how the game ended with YCW Green winning 35-30.
YCW will now take on Kiwi Red in the Grand Final. Kiwi Red should take the win.
Roopena and Warriors Green faced off in the D grade final.
These two teams have been close all year and Roopena only finished above Warriors on the ladder by percentage.
The younger Warriors team were relentless this time round and Roopena could not keep pace after half time. Warriors taking the win 50-26.
Warriors will now take on Kiwi in this weekend’s grand final and if they can keep focus, I think will win.
In Reserves there weren’t any surprises. Kiwi and True Blue have been the dominant teams all year and that’s who we will see face off in the final this weekend and Kiwi defeated Warriors 48-35.
Kiwi will need to shutdown Tracey French if they are to stay in the running this weekend. I think True Blue will get the win.
While the C grade competition was fairly close all year Kiwi caused an upset this weekend when they defeated a more experienced YCW Yellow.
YCW did have the lead but Kiwi were persistent and didn’t give up and it really came down to who was more accurate in the goals in the end.
Bek Wall shot well and helped her team to the 42-38 victory. Kiwi will now take on Warriors Black this weekend.
I didn’t expect them to win the last one so I’m hesitant to make a call for this one.
Warriors have played consistently all year however Clare McLean did hurt her knee last weekend and I think the result could change if she isn’t 100 per cent.
We’ve had some great finals played already in the B grade and this weekend’s final will be no different.
Warriors and YCW Green will face off again after YCW’s hard fought win over Kiwi Red.
Kiwi have come storming home this season and were a surprise to make finals at all.
They came out hard on Saturday but didn’t have the legs to run it out in the end and YCW came home with a 33-29 win.
This coming Saturday I’m expecting an absolute battle.
YCW are more physically dominant and while Warriors are younger, they both have some big game experiences.
I think YCW need to start Kylie Knight in goals if they are to start well. They also need to shut down Harriet Milne. If they don’t, I think Warriors will get there but it will be close.
The A grade played out as most would have predicted with Kiwi taking a comfortable win 59-41.
That being said True Blue did have a chance but didn’t seem to be able to generate enough opportunities in the goals and didn’t convert their chances when they had them.
This weekend’s battle could be epic between Warriors, who have consistently played and won the Grand Final for a few years now, and Kiwi, who many of their younger players won’t remember the last time they competed in an A grade grand final. So who will win?
Hannah Kelsh is a hard player to defend. Warriors will need to put doubt into the feeders and keep them second guessing.
Jess and Kate make a tall duo down the other end and Kiwi will need to defend tight and in front to shut them down.
Kiwi need to play a structured, disciplined game to take it to Warriors. On the other hand, Warriors need to keep their heads and focus on the controllable. I can’t call who will win. We could have an A grade final go into overtime.
Kiwi need to play a structured, disciplined game to take it to Warriors.
On the other hand, Warriors need to keep their heads and focus on the controllable. I can’t call who will win. We could have an A grade final go into overtime.
On Saturday night we also celebrated our year with our annual dinner. Congratulations to our worthy award and trophy recipients. I don’t think anyone would argue that there was a more deserving and nicer Whyalla News Medalist than Kiwi’s Cassandra Ward.
And it was great to see some new faces in our A grade Team of the Year as well as our resident favourite Tuihana Kingi, who must have set a record by now for consecutive selections.
I wish all teams this weekend the best of luck and can’t wait to watch some great competitive netball.