Thrilling netball grand finals

CHAMPS: Kiwi capped off a wonderful season by winning their first A Grade Grand Final in 10 years over three-time premiers Warriors 51-46.

CHAMPS: Kiwi capped off a wonderful season by winning their first A Grade Grand Final in 10 years over three-time premiers Warriors 51-46.

Kiwi claims A Grade grand final

What a fantastic day it was on Saturday.

The rain stayed away, the wind was nonexistent and the netball was simply brilliant.

A huge congratulations to all clubs and teams for giving us some really competitive games to watch as well as the great sportsmanship displayed.

The day kicked off with our junior teams and in 11 and Under Division 2 YCW took on Ravens.

The final score line didn’t show how close this game was and Ravens really did their best to hang in there as long possible but YCW ran away with it in the 17-6.

In 11 and Under Division 1 it was an undefeated Warriors taking on YCW. Talk about a nail biter!

There was no more than a few goals difference at any point before the game was drawn level again, both teams taking the lead throughout the game.

With less than a minute to go the scores were level again it looked certain to go into overtime.

With about 20 seconds on the clock Warriors managed to score the final goal winning 25-24.

It was a similar story at the 13 and Under Division 2 also between Warriors and YCW.

This one always had the makings of a good game but YCW charged away early and held a decent lead at the end of the first.

Warriors worked hard in the second and early in the third had all but made up the difference.

For the next 20 minutes it was goal for goal and the crowd was certainly feeling the pressure.

In the last few minutes Warriors managed to rally, scoring off a turnover as well as their own centre pass saw them three in front at the final whistle, winning 22-19.

It was always going to be a hard slog for Kiwi in the 13 and Under Division 1.

True Blue had been undefeated all season and try as they might, no team was able to challenge them fully.

Kiwi gave it a good crack and the score line was certainly closer than I had expected, True Blue taking the win 43-29.

15 and Under Division 2 was much of the same. Ravens had been the dominant team all year and True Blue were going to have to have the game of the season to really take it to them.

They hung in there for a while but once Ravens got momentum they were hard to stop. Ravens finishing the season with a strong win 47-21.

It was a different story in 15 and under Division 1 between Warriors and True Blue.

Warriors had been the dominant team throughout the season but True Blue hadn’t been far off the mark and showed they were contenders after defeating them in the first Semi.

Warriors started strongly and at the end of the first quarter held and 8 goal lead.

It looked as though the game was going to be quite one sided.

True Blue came out hard in the second, forcing turn overs early and bringing the game level by half time.

The second half of the game was an absolute battle with True Blue edging ahead, little by little and looking like they were going to get the better of Warriors.

In the last five minutes Warriors got their second wind, forcing turn overs and making the most of them in the goal ring.

After an absolute cracker it was time that was on True Blue’s side with them managing to hang on to a one-goal lead at the final whistle, winning 47-46.

In the afternoon the senior grades had their turn and were equally as exciting with no more than seven goals the difference across any of the games.

Roopena came out flying in F grade and must have shell shocked True Blue.

Having a 15 goal lead at quarter time, the game looked done and dusted Roopena looked certain winners.

Bit by bit True Blue lifted and managed to eat back at the lead, outscoring Roopena at each break.

Roopena were lucky to hang on in the end beating True Blue 46-41.

In E grade it was Kiwi Red taking on YCW Green.

Kiwi finished top of the ladder and had been the dominant team in this season and it was hard to see YCW causing an upset.

The game was certainly much closer than expected but Kiwi held on to their top status winning 33-27.

Kiwi faced off against Warriors Green in D grade. Kiwi finished top of the ladder but not convincingly, so this game had the potential to be close.

Warriors led at every break but only by a few, Kiwi keeping them in close check and setting themselves up to be in a good position in the final quarter.

They fought hard and managed to peg back a few but in the end they couldn’t overtake Warriors who held on 26-24.

Reserves was another grade where two teams had been dominant all season and those two were facing off in the final.

True Blue started strongly and had experience on their side but Kiwi worked hard and stayed in reaching point.

True Blue led for most of the game but the final quarter was an absolute beauty and by the sound of the crowd, Kiwi were coming home hard.

With the potential of the game going into overtime True Blue showed great composure, winning the game 37-36.

Kiwi got an upset win last week in C grade and were going to need to do the same again this week against Warriors Black.

Both team started well and the game was goal for goal during the first.

Slowly Warriors started to edge away and made the most of the opportunities they created.

Kiwi did well to stick with them as long as they did but Warriors showed that for a young team, they have some great talent, winning 49-41.

B grade was always going to be an interesting game.

On paper YCW were far more experienced with several former A grade players, many having played senior finals.

Warriors were much younger but not without some big game experience themselves.

The games started fairly evenly, YCW having more of the ball but not converting on the score board, kept the game fairly even at the end of the first.

YCW made some changes in the goal ring in the second which helped them edge away and you could see the young Warriors team started feeling the pressure.

Warriors made some changes in the third but YCW held a handy lead which extended to double digits at times.

In the fourth YCW just had to maintain but Warriors were not giving up.

They kept their heads up and had a go at everything and they certainly managed to turn the momentum their way.

If they had another quarter to go they may have got their but the lead was too great for them real in, YCW taking the win 46-39.

And then we were down to A grade.

Looking at past games this had the potential to come down to the wire, or blow out either way.

I’m very pleased to say it was a close one. Warriors being three-time premiers on the trot, they had the experience to start well and that’s what they did.

Half way through the first they already had a five-goal lead.

Once Kiwi woke up they hit back and by the end of the first it was 10 all.

The second and third was much of the same.

Each teams edging away only to be reeled back in.

Both teams were playing hard and playing to win with bodies being put on the line to save  the ball or create an opportunity at every chance.

“Kiwi’s defence throughout the mid court created opportunities for their defenders and their goalies made sure they were rewarded for their efforts.”

Going into the final quarter it was still clear that this game was anyone’s to win or lose and the crowd was absolutely loving it.

Kiwi caused a couple of turn overs early and for the first time, the cracks began to show for Warriors. Kiwi’s defence throughout the mid court created opportunities for their defenders and their goalies made sure they were rewarded for their efforts.

In the end, that’s all it took for Kiwi to get their first A grade premiership in a very long time, ending Warriors winning streak in one of the best finals we have seen for a while 51-46.

- KELLY HYSLOP