Premiership win for WNC Kangaroos
by JIMMY HARRIS
10th July 2023
IN A THRILLING finish to the season, the Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) U13 Kangaroos came back from a five-goal deficit in the final quarter to win the Section 1 Grand Final by just two points.
Saturday, June 17, was Grand Final Day for the Manningham Netball Autumn competition and the culmination of 11 regular season rounds (12 rounds for the U9s and U11s who do not play finals) and two rounds of finals.
Although WNC had six teams compete in the semi-finals two weeks earlier, only the Kangaroos made it to the Grand Final.
The WNC U13 Wallabies, U15 Emus and Lyrebirds, Open A/B Kestrels and Open C Eagles had all played well during the season to reach the finals but lost to stronger teams in their semis.
Club glory rested with the Kangaroos, up against top-of-the-ladder Eltham Panthers Stars.
The Stars were undefeated in the regular season, with the Kangaroos’ only three losses being against the Stars.
At three-quarter time, the Kangaroos were trailing by three goals.
Kangaroos’ coach Amy Graham had spent the season building her team’s belief in themselves and their teammates, knowing this was just as important as developing their fitness and technical skills.
The Kangaroos had had a far-from-ideal lead-up to the final, with one of their key players suffering a season-ending knee injury during a mothers-and-daughters social game a few weeks earlier.
They had also had a disrupted final week, having to move their training session to Andersons Creek Primary School due to the media presence at Warrandyte Reserve.
It was now-or-never in the final quarter, and after such a disruptive run-up to the final, it would have been easy, and perhaps expected, for the team to drop their heads and console themselves with second place and another loss to a team that had already beaten them three times during the regular season.
Instead, the Kangaroos dug deep, held their nerve, and shot seven consecutive goals in eight minutes to emerge victorious with a final score of 17–15.
Congratulations to the Kangaroos for their stunning win, and commiserations to the Stars, whose disappointment mirrored the Kangaroos’ excitement.
The two teams had a great rivalry during the Autumn season, which will no doubt be continued during the Spring season.
Thank you to all the volunteers who help run the club, from the coaches, team managers, committee members, and everyone who helps at our functions and social events.
Thank you also to Warrandyte Community Bank for supporting our club and “Project Reconnect”, which has helped our community of players and families reconnect and return to the club after several years of COVID-related disruption.
Although our team numbers are still down from pre-COVID, they are up from a year ago, and we have two new Open teams starting next season, with one playing in the social competition on Tuesday evenings and the other playing in the regular competition on Saturday afternoons.
To the WNC community — we hope you enjoyed the season break and we look forward to seeing you at training.