Finals Fever!

Wednesday night was a very, very chilly evening and while most people chose to stay indoors, the Purple Plonkers braved the conditions and turned up to the roof-top court at the Community Centre. This was our chance to play for a spot in next week’s Grand Final!

A bitter breeze circled around us. It seemed nothing, not even the walk from the station could warm us up.

As we etched our signatures on the scoresheet, we tried furiously to warm the hands and then, we were handed purple bibs for the night! The same ones from our Semi Final win the week before! Were they to be our lucky charm!?!

As the ball fired through the air, the first few passes stung our hands but soon after, the cold was finally forgotten. The “Randoms” (the opposing side) took first centre pass however the Purple Plonkers (PPs) were first to score! This upset, rattled the Randoms and from then on, it was game on!

Affers (our GA) was on fire and together with Grace, these two ladies were brilliant! Affers was in fine form, not missing a shot! The opposition resorted to intimidation tactics but no matter what they did, it was to no avail. Both Grace and Affers worked to keep the ball within the circle, giving the other team less chance and time to work it back to their end. Supported well by the vigilant “feeders” - C and WA, Nick and Ben were looking for subtle signals from the shooters on when to pass the ball into the circle - timing was everything.

The PPs managed to creep ahead by a few points but for the most part, the scoring remained neck and neck. Not long into first half and we had the Randoms thinking we had been training for this night!  Ha!

Great team work and awareness of each other on court meant the ball moved quickly. Our passes were long, short and sometimes sneaky (on the fly by). Purple Plonkers were dominating possession!

By half time the score was 10-6 with Purple Plonkers in the lead.  Whilst we gathered for the team pep talk, a wary captain kept an eye on the opposition to ensure that any tactical position changes would be countered.

It is always tough for a team to play the same game as they did in the first half - momentum is so important.  The Randoms were more a lot more vocal this half!  You could sense their frustration. Our Talbot (GK), despite putting up with constant pushing and shoving, still managed to find space and jump up for the rebounds.  Our tight defense forced the Randoms to favour one of the shooters over the other in the final stages so we kept up the pressure.

The games intensity continued to escalate as minutes of the second half ticked by. Evidence of that was the fact the turn overs were a result of contact as opposed to loose passes.  Our MD was right in the thick of it, throwing her body on the line, constantly diving for the intercepts and slowing down the Random’s momentum. Absolutely perfect!

Then, for a brief moment the opposition scored a few goals in a row. Fatigue was setting in for both sides. Without a scoreboard to show the tally, everyone relied on instinct to know that there would only be a few points between us now…

And just before the final time alarm sounded, the Randoms scored. Many took a breath and then a quick look round to the scorer for confirmation on who had won...and

Final score

Purple Plonkers 16 defeat Randoms 15

No matter what level you play, netball is a great game!