Railways await Grand Final glory and Saints survive Magpies attack

A Grade

Railways def. Vikings

Both teams warmed up with Railways chanting a near thunderous motivational session to over shadow Vikings quiet passing manoeuvres at the other end of the court. The first encouraging sign of authority from Vikings came with its success to score the first goal of the game. The first quarter was fast, furious and physical. As much as Railways had the lead 17-11 it could not completely shake Vikings off its spirited course.

Vikings had Tiana Freeman in perfect scoring form. What Freeman did not gain possession in the first instance she scored the second shot from Lara Etchells rebounds. Railways were confident with its scoring duo Claire Schupelius and Mikala Venning who both on occasions took advantage to outwit Vikings off balanced defenders. Coaches had plenty to say going into the second quarter.

The tide was about to change. Railways were reduced to a 3 goal lead 27-24. Could Vikings sustain the pace for a full game? Railways also had a game plan. Defenders Tylah Jackson and Peyton Fuller forced Etchells out wide in the goal circle however as the game progressed she was on fire with accuracy. Freeman was the other option close to the ring. A perfect combination was at its superb best. Railways felt the pressure. Vikings could not be tempted to crumple. In deficit by only 4 goals at three quarter time the crowd could see it was not a hallucination before their eyes.

In the fourth quarter with 6 minutes to go to the siren Vikings were two goals down. The game was on the verge of a boil-over. Vikings did not panic in the midcourt where Railways Mikala Fuller and Laurie Haynes usually have ownership. By reversing a forward passing play back to Casey Lukich, Belinda Myles and Amelia Etchells it paved the way to restart the attacking tactic to the goalies.

Railways are top for reasons. When a threat arises Schupelius snags the most unbelievable mid- range goals as well as burning up energy racing around in the midcourt. The smartest strategic decision came from M Fuller who directed the players to slow the game in the final moments to reduce opportunities for Vikings to score. It worked. Railways kept its reputation in tact 52-48 to place itself into the Grand Final. What a game!  It was a grand final display.

St Josephs def. Magpies

Another superlative game was St Josephs versus Magpies. This game would determine who would meet Vikings. St Joseph could be forgiven to be wary of Magpies. They were at peak performance level and with an 8-4 goal first quarter lead St Josephs’ concerns were realised. Magpies made its intentions clear. Aysha Zada and Ebony Janiak strongly held their goal circle placements to score goals. There was not much Abby Whitaker and Libby Harrison could do to reverse the situation. Accuracy is accuracy. No rebounds to claim, no turnovers.

But wait, the Saints have quality players. By getting their combination to gel in the midcourt was one strategy that could force Magpies to rethink its confidence. Hallelujah. The dynamic efforts from Amy Green, Ebony Butler and Brooke Groth matched up with Magpies Chelsey Caputo, Ellie Packard and Talia Berry to the point at three quarter time the scores were drawn 33-33.

The game turned into a thrilling goal for goal game. Erin Heron entered the game in place of Groth who unfortunately head crashed heavily to the floor. Then a most devastating knee injury to Magpies centre player Chelsey Caputo occurred with less than a minute to siren time. With seconds to go the future of St Josephs laid with Bonnie Mckenzie. One shot, one goal and the win by one goal 44-43. Too close for comfort.

The question is “ Can Vikings repeat its impressive repertoire against St Joseph and claim a second chance to meet Railways in a Premiership quest”. Watch and see.

B Grade

Did top seeded Quorn expect a hot challenge from Vikings? Yes it did.  Vikings would have been inspired by its’ A Grade teams’ attempted coup over Railways. Quorn’s mix of experience and young talented players has served it well all season but finals are a different space to compete in. An impressive 13-9 first quarter put Quorn on a confident road to succeed. Not if Vikings had a say. The retaliation had Vikings leading by one goal 37-36 going into the final quarter. The intensity was high, energy was lowering and when the final siren screeched the players were exhausted in favour of a Quorn win 51-50.

Angie Finlay and Alice K Wilsdon melded the Quorn Team together providing on-court strategic direction, which was needed to combat the Viking strength particularly in the goal circle. Carlee Margitch and Kellie Von Senden made all the powerful moves to receive feeds from Jessica Freeman and Bianca Reid. Vikings defence line of Phoebe Hunter, Jade Dawson and Celeste Ticehurst made the triumph road for Quorn difficult, however Tayla Finlay and Kiera Pyman overcame the scoring pressure….just.

No matter now. Quorn has a Grand Final spot and Vikings will need to demonstrate all its’ prowess against a McAuliffe, Parker and Thompson Railway led team because St Josephs has been eliminated from the finals race. St Joseph did really well up to half time, but with the loss of goalie Lucy Janiak and the re-arrangement of the team line-up it was enough unsettlement for Railways to take full advantage for a 55-36 win. It will be a “big guns” clash between Railways and Vikings. It’s worth watching.

C Grade

Julie Forsyth follows all the Quorn teams and as scorer for the team against Magpies she was more than pleased with the result 54-44. There was an anxious moment when Tidda Coulthard left the court injured however Zara Whellum backfilled the wing defence position admirably. The result gave Quorn the berth into the Grand Final. Who will be the other contender for the flag?

Magpies will play Shamrocks who defeated Railways 53-40. This will be a tough decider game. Magpies has peaked at the right time and Shamrocks are equally proficient in resisting challenges.  

D Grade

Vikings has kept its finals vision alive by forging home in the last quarter to defeat Shamrocks 48-41. It was a game full of vocal encouragement to keep stamina and motivation high with players reaching weary levels.  

How will Vikings go against St Josephs Blue? Undefeated Magpies showed no mercy in its thirst for a grand final placement defeating St Jospehs Blue 44-25. Now it is St Josephs Blue and Vikings vying for a place to have a last crack at demoting Magpies from its throne. Who will it be?  

E Grade

Scorers Judith Barnett and Julie Forsyth were on the tip of their chairs with one praying for an upset and the other praying for a grand final berth. Top seeded Magpies Rebels used all its 9 players to get the berth by one goal over Quorn 39-38. It was a very exciting game.

Quorn now need to take the excitement to meet St Josephs who owned every quarter against Magpies to convincingly win 62-31. There is talent in both these teams so an interesting clash is inevitable.

F Grade

Quorn and Magpies White respected each other enough to be wary of any surprise court moves with players. Just as well Quorn settled down in the first quarter to jump to an early lead 15-7 because Magpies White changed its midcourt players to add more vigour to its attacking approach. Quorn sighed with relief to secure the 51-45 win and to get into the Grand Final.

Magpies White has the task now of facing a determined Railways team who owned its game against Magpies 34-20.

G Grade

Vikings pulled players from lower grades to cover injuries as the game progressed. Sharron Jones and Dolly Ratara did not see the game to the end. Shamrocks Black had a commanding third quarter to give it the final 33-26 result and the grand final berth.

As third ranked St Josephs had a win over Magpies Rebels 36-20 it has earned the right to contest for the remaining berth against Vikings.

H Grade

There is nothing separating the will to win between Shamrocks Black and Quorn hence why the last quarter meant everything to both teams. The dream came alive for Shamrocks Green 36-35. Quorn now has to play Railways to see who gets the opposing Grand Final spot. Third ranked Magpies could not deter the determination of Railways who out played them 27-13.

I Grade

Faithful Shamrock Club ambassador Bernie Short gave all the encouragement she could to the players to be competitive against St Josephs but once the Saints roll there is no stopping them 56-19.

Railways Blue had to make a point against its sister team Railways to keep its flag flying goal alive. It did so by owning each quarter to win 40-15.

U15 Div 1

The best of the juniors went head to head until St Josephs convinced Quorn the entry to the Grand Final belonged to them. It was hard work. Quorn without its formidable goal defender Jenna Cuffe adjusted its team line-up to place Kaitlyn Roberts with Maya Omonte-Kramer up against St Josephs’ goalies Lucy Janiak and Paris Thompson. These two knew front positioning and accuracy was the tall order for the teams’ win and rewarded the awesome midcourt feeds and interceptions from Ebony Butler, Maggie Woodforde and Kaylana Reid.

Elle Henderson and Maia Scharenberg were as dependable as ever to keep close challenging defence on Quorns’ goalies Jayde Finlay and Rebekah O’Neill. It was the turnovers that beat Quorn who now have the second chance to thrash out a tough eliminating final against Vikings.

U15 Vikings and Railways also boast the best players of the division, but one team had to wave farewell to the season. Railways depended upon the reliable scoring of the dynamic duo Teraleyha Coulthard and Shakyra Wilton. They kept up with Vikings tall goalies Gemma Broadwood and Brooke Harris. The scores were neck to neck. It was the focussed defending attention from Vikings Sophie Finch, Rylee Dalla Santa and Shalana Cox that turned over possession for the team to snatch an exciting 32-30 win. All the best Vikings when you meet Quorn.

U15 Div 2

There was no love lost in competition between St Joseph Gold 28 and St Joseph Blue 19. Both wanted the Grand Final placement. Gold kept an edge each quarter to claim the spot.. As expected hugs and well wishes went to the Blue team who have to meet Railways.

Railways 32-21 got off to a good first half start which knocked the confidence from Quorn. In an amazing second half turn around Quorn settled and matched Railways thirst for a win. The Railways fire power of Lucy Waterworth, Tia Buckskin and Hayley Harrap and impressive rebounding from Rebecca Kennedy and Shayla Reid was just too much of a gap for Quorn to recover from its nerves. See you next season Quorn.

U15 Div 3

Vikings made no secret of its intent. They put their best combination together in the last quarter to stun Shamrocks 32-14. Vikings took a no fuss approach by adjusting the players in key positions to remain influential to the win to advance to the Grand Final. K-Lee Collins, Alice Ticehurst melded well in defence, Kiesha Cullen and Shayla Warren kept the goals rolling. In response Shamrocks shared the game with its 8 players who will now reshape its strategies to meet Magpies.

Magpies took advantage of Shamrocks Green who played without a wing defence. One down in the defence line allowed Nicolette Muscat-Gaston and Cherokee Johns to pass the ball around safely through Layla Polkinghorne assisting to get the ball into the goal circle 22-10.  The impressive win will require the same effort again this week. See you again next year Shamrocks Green.

U13 Div1

Scorers Samarla Ilich and Michelle Allen were all prepared for a top game between Vikings Blue and Railways. The thrill was evident. Top seeded Vikings Blue had a sluggish start which opened up the opportunity for Railways to take advantage and they did 36-30. Their defence line of Sophie Glamuzina, Rebecca Kennedy and Richelle Crombie stood firm to unravel the Vikings attacking dominance of Jessie Harris, Kiesha Cullen, Ellyssa Myles and Casey Green.

Railways move to the Grand Final. Vikings Blue now has to tussle it out in a club battle against Vikings Green who narrowly defeated St Josephs’ 24-20. St Joseph tried a last quarter charge but the midcourt desperation efforts from the Greens’ Maci Wilsdon, Sarcha Taylor, Macey Badcock and Eliza Ashton to feed Brooke Harris and Kelis Jackson-Martin could not be subdued. There is next season St Josephs, see you again.

U13 Div 2

Was second placed St Josephs Blue expected to surprise attack its first placed Gold team? It did not help when Tori Groth left the court injured in the second half when scores were locked 15-15. The last quarter turnovers from Ella Humphrys and Amy Donaldson inspired the Blues over-ride the challenges in the midcourt. As much as Emma Newberry, Indi Harding and Alice Murphy expended desperate energy for the Golds the Blues replied with more desperation from April and Sadie Redden and Tiahne Carter. A great team effort got St Josephs Blue into the Grand Final.

St Josephs’ Gold now meet Magpies who also out of the blue put its best game forward to jolt Railways into a loss. Scorers Louise Curtis and Melita Miller kept their fingers crossed for their teams to keep their finals dream alive.  A good last quarter sealed the deal for Magpies 23-17. Railways team of players Chloe Smith, Indie Buckley, Annalise Reid, Sarah Williams, Taeylah Couthard, Markayla Richards and Kelisha Reid have a good netball future and we will see you next season.

U13 Div 3

First placed Railways were challenged by Quorn with its interchange capabilities to keep a fresh team of ten actively involved in its tactics to win. Scorers Stacey Cox and Julie Forsyth had their hopes pinned on their teams but glorious Railways had the game sewn up 20-12 for a Grand Final appearance.

Quorn now have the arduous task of overcoming a determined Vikings Team who with six players defeated Shamrocks a brave five player team of Taylah Coulthard, Haillie Taylor, Macasha Palmer, Kaliyah Warren and Chevelle Jones 40-8.  Stayers are players and we will see you next year Shamrocks.

U11 Div 1

Brooke Groth scored for St Josephs and Carey Struck scored for Vikings Blue in what was an exciting game of young talent. Only one goal separated the two teams in the first quarter. Vikings had the tall and short of goalies with Kelis Jackson-Martin and Bridie Lukich and St Josephs matched up with defenders Ella Humphrys and Hanna Gerlach. It took just the accuracy at the right time from Taya O’Dea and Jada Grosser to place St Joseph into a Grand Final 26-22.

Hopes are still alive for Vikings Blue in a club battle against Vikings Green. The Greens over powered Magpies 28-11. There is lots of great talent in Magpies: Sophie Warren, Kahmesha Wilton, Zara Thiele, Aisha Petrie, Laila Milera, Aliesha Kennedy and Shinae Wilton and we will see you next season.

U11 Div 2

There is nothing more breath taking for coaches than a tight game and it was the same anxiety for scorers Meagan Grantham and Tina Davies wishing their teams over the line. St Josephs got the final goal 17-16 to march into the Grand Final over Magpies.

Di Bell and Carmen Kernahan umpired a successful Vikings game over Railways 17-7 which means a beauty of a test of skills will happen this week between Magpies and Vikings and we say farewell to Railways until next season.

U11 Div 3

It was so close for top seeded Magpies to keep Vikings at bay. Like true Vikings the team just kept pursuing victory until the end 13-11 to keep alive a premiership dream. Magpies now have to battle to keep its Grand Final berth dream alive over its own club Magpies Rebels. Third placed St Josephs Blue was unable to thwart the enthusiasm of Magpies Rebels and lost 4-7. See you talented Joey players next year.

U11 Div 4

There was no talent difference between the top seeded 10 player Quorn team and second placed 7 player Vikings team on the day of excitement. It was just the second quarter 2 goal lead that caught Quorn off guard. Try as they did the lead stayed with Vikings 16-14 and placed it into the Grand Final.

The Shamrocks and Magpies game was umpired by Narelle Davies and Lara Etchells. There was a round of applause when Magpies scored a goal in the third quarter. Magpies gave all of its 9 players court time to feel the flavour of a finals game. Shamrocks 12-1 with its 7 players got a flow going and have earned the right to face Quorn for a place in the Grand Final. See you talented Magpies players next season.

In summary on behalf of the Juniors it is a huge thank you to all the spectators, coaches, umpires and scorers who have shown the interest and support given each week, for some during the week, to keep the motivation going for the girls in their netball. They love the attention and playing netball for you.