THE end of the 2015 winter season capped off one of the strongest finishes in memory for the Warrandyte Netball Club as nine teams reached the grand final: three open age teams and six under age teams.
Playing at the Lower Templestowe courts against strong op- position including Donvale, East Doncaster and Eltham, seven teams managed to take home premiership glory, crowning Warrandyte as the winners on the day in the Doncaster and District Netball Competition.
A terrific day of finals competition kicked off early morning with the Under 13/2 Warrandyte Stingers team up against Doncaster Youth Club Kool Kats. The Stingers were quietly confident going into the Grand Final, having already defeated their opponents by eight goals in the semi final.
The match was tight throughout the first half with the teams going goal for goal. However, the game changed in the third quarter with the Warrandyte goalies putting on a number of scores in quick succession to give them momentum into the fourth quarter. The team morale quickly lifted as more and more goals went in and the Stingers eventually claimed victory by 18 goals.
Under 13/2 Warrandyte Stingers
Later in the morning two Under 15s teams took the court. The Under 15/1 Warrandyte Pythons were to play their long-time rivals Donvale Dominatorz.
With just one loss for the season, Donvale was firm favourite for the premiership, but unfortunately for the Dominatorz the Warrandyte Pythons hadn’t read the script.
The Pythons went in hard and played to win, displaying strong defense in a well umpired game. Warrandyte’s fight proved too much for Donvale in defeating them for the first time this season (by eight goals) when it really mattered.
In another Warrandyte versus Donvale match up, the U15/3 Warrandyte Cobras took on the Donvale Dollz, a rematch of the semi final which Donvale dominated, winning 39-16. With that in mind, Warrandyte came out fighting and was up by six goals at quarter time.
The game was tighter in the second and third quarters and with only eight players on court, Warrandyte dug deep and fought to maintain a one goal advantage at three quarter time. In the last quarter, the game went goal for goal. With only minutes to spare and the score drawn, Warrandyte fought hard and stole the ball to sink the final goal to claim a classic final win.
U15/3 Warrandyte Cobras
After lunch three Under 17 teams took the court. Never before had the Under 17/1 Warrandyte Jaguars beaten the Deep Creek Crystals. The semi final meeting was one to forget for Warrandyte, with Deep Creek winning convincingly 53-22. The girls went in with a positive attitude and nothing to lose, and cool heads once again prevailed with a fairytale victory for Warrandyte in a nailbiter. Cheers were heard far and wide as the players jumped all over each other to celebrate a two-goal win.
Under 17/1 Warrandyte Jaguars
The U17/2’s Warrandyte Leopards took on Deep Creek Aquamarines. During the season the two teams had a tight tussle for first and second spot on the ladder and met each other in the semi final where the Leopards won to progress. Deep Creek was able to fight through the elimination final to face Warrandyte again, this time at the big dance. With just seven players, the Leopards showed strong fight but lost in an arm wrestle, succumbing by four goals.
In our only match up for the day against Eltham, the Under 17/3 Warrandyte Lynx faced the Eltham Firebirds. With only four teams in the section, the teams knew each other well and in previous meetings the Lynx had beaten Eltham only once. Going in as underdogs, the girls played a wonderful game of netball and the mateship between the girls was unparalleled. It was a close game for three quarters but the Lynx fell by six goals.
With the junior finals concluded, the Open teams took the court in the afternoon. The Open A Warrandyte Falcons took on the Deep Creek Diamonds, whose only loss for the season came against Warrandyte in Round 8. The game was always going to be hard fought and emotionally charged, as it was Amie Dusting’s 400th game for Warrandyte Netball Club.
With composure and plenty of support from parents, Warrandyte brought home the win to celebrate another great milestone for Amie and break a six-year drought for the Open A team.
Open A Warrandyte Falcons
Coming into the finals season, the Warrandyte Open B Tigers were clear favourites, remaining undefeated for the season. However, they received a reality check in the semi finals, losing to the East Doncaster Jets by four goals. That forced the Tigers to play Warrandyte Hawks in the elimination final, which they managed to win by three goals. When the Tigers and the Jets met again in the Grand Final, it was the Tigers turn to growl, beating East Doncaster by 16 goals.
Open B Warrandyte Tigers
In the Open C section, Donvale loomed as the team to be reckoned with. Sitting on top of the ladder after a flawless season, they were the team to beat in the Grand Final after the Warrandyte Red Robins girls won a very convincing semi final game against DYC to reach the event.
The Red Robins were confident and knew if they played their own game they could beat Donvale and that’s exactly how it panned out. The fourth quarter saw the Red Robins overtake Donvale’s score and run away with a terrific four-point win.
Open C Warrandyte Red Robins
That win was Warrandyte’s seventh and final premiership win for the day, a remarkable achievement in the eyes of president Meaghan Cross.
“It has been a great day of netball for Warrandyte and has capped off another terrific season. The club is going from strength to strength with recent seasons seeing record numbers of players and teams,” Cross said.