Netball grand final

Gloucester Netball Club’s grand final on September 2 was treated to a beautiful spring day and some close games to round off the Saturday netball season for 2017.

NetSetGo girls (5 to 8 years) were first on for a fun game focused on improving skills and correct positioning. Coaches, Sally Maslen and Betty Pearson have been impressed this year with the improvement in all players over the season. Thank you to the older girls for mentoring the younger players.

The junior grand final was next, played between the green and the black teams. The green team, mentored by Ellie Schumann, have had an amazing season losing only three of the 17 games. The black team, mentored by Hayley Rush, had a slow start the season and finished fourth on points heading into the finals but stepped up their play and progressed through two elimination matches to secure their position in the grand final showdown.

The underdog black team surprised the spectators in the first half of the game starting strong to take a 2 goal lead heading into half time. Emily Kearney and Ella Howe were the standout shooters for the black and green teams respectively scoring most of the points on the board. Toreen Denyer was a standout in the first half playing in the centre position for the black team, she was well supported by all the defensive players. In the third quarter both teams had a reshuffle in player positions and the green team mounted a comeback. Jorja Beard and Ruby Tonks were putting solid defensive pressure on the black team and Ruby Daniels stepped up her shooting accuracy to see the Green team go into the last quarter with a seven goal lead. The black team came onto the court in the last quarter with determination and had all spectators on edge with every goal scored. They were slowly clawing back the difference but the Green team remained composed and at the final bell the score was 27-24 to the Green team.

In the intermediate grand final, the yellow team, captained by Tahnee Yates, headed into thr game as the favourite after taking out the minor premiership and only recording two losses all season. They were up against the black team, captained by Marnie Barkwill. These teams met in the semi final and treated spectators to a close game with only a one point difference, so the grand final was shaping up to be a thriller.

First quarter was very tight with both teams starting strong to see the score 6 all at the break. The yellow team stepped up their game in the second quarter, led by Tahnee in the shooting circle, alone outscoring the black team, adding 11 goals to see the yellow team take a 7 goal lead in the half time break. Hayley Rush was the standout shooter for the black team and was supported by Emma Ashton but the girls had to fight hard for position in the circle against the defensive pressure of Laura Dunlop and EJ Blanch. The third quarter saw the black team step up with Marnie Barkwill making numerous intercepts and re-bounds, however they were able to reduce the 7 goal lead.

The black team came out determined in the final quarter throwing everything into the game but the yellow team kept their cool and finished the game on top with a final score of 38-33. 

The presentation of trophies was held at midday with the NetSetGo players invited up by president, Sally Maslen to be congratulated on a great year. The Lynette Sampson Encouragement award went to Lily Sansom, who was unfortunately away for the weekend. Lily was selected for her positive attitude and the improvement she has shown during the season. The De-Witte Best New Player was awarded to Sienna Macdonald for 2017. Sienna has improved all season and always attends the training days and this has shown through in her Saturday netball skills. The coaches award went to Kaitlyn and Emily Beggs for their consistency, sportsmanship and for always trying their best.

In the junior division, the major trophy winners were Toreen Denyer, who was awarded the Lynette Sampson Encouragement Award as her improvement on the court has been a standout along with her confidence. The Coaches awards went to Ella Howe (green), Shania Richards (pink), Kamryn Beard (white) and Verity Badham (black). The Pointscore Trophy was the final award presented in the junior division and is awarded to the player that gained the highest points over the entire season,Natalie Rayner. Special thanks to Hayley Rush, Ellie Schumann, Jess Anniwell and Tayla Predebon for coming forward this season to coach and mentor the junior players. 

The intermediate team trophies were presented next with the Encouragement Award going to Makayla Battams for her improvement all season and the Pointscore Trophy awarded to Marnie Barkwill. The Tamika Preston Memorial Award was presented by Mandy Finlay to Danielle Channon for 2017. This special award is given to a player who has shown sportsmanship on and off the court along with support to the club. Danielle has helped out in a number of areas this year, from mentoring the younger players on a Saturday and training days to stepping up to umpire games and helping in the canteen.

Congratulations to all the players and parents for an amazing season. A massive congratulations to our committee members, umpires, scorers and team managers for helping every Saturday morning. We couldn’t operate without your support.

Last but not least thanks to our major sponsor Stewart Carruthers from Betta Home Living and our club supporters  Mandy Finlay, Megan and Sam de Witte, Angela and Ian Sampson, The Fox Den, Nicole Gorton and Devine Beauty.