Double delight for Alberton

FOR the second consecutive season, Alberton has stamped its authority all over netball in Gippsland.

Alberton again won the open and 17 and under division Eastern Region State League grand finals on Friday night at Churchill.

Alberton dominated the open final, defeating Mid Gippsland Green 55-28.

Green was missing key attacking player Jess Hillier, who was preparing for her wedding the next day, but led its more fancied opponent by three goals.

However, with only the bare seven players, Green was never going to sustain that pressure.

After the first 15 minutes, the Mid Gippsland players dropped their heads in what could only be described as a shambles.

At one point, Mid Gippsland only had six players on the court as captain Billie Jo Malady was receiving treatment for a foot injury.

Alberton’s Christie Hillberg was named best-on-court and was also the division’s most valuable player.

Alberton will look to defend its regional champions title when it contests the Champions Challenge.

The top two teams of the challenge will play in a curtain raiser to the Australian Netball League match between Victorian teams Flame and Fury on July 20 at Waverley Netball Centre.

In other awards handed out after the grand final, North Gippsland’s Phoebe Escrett won the hot shot award.

The open division all star team was made up of Jessica Hilliar, Ramayer Gourley, Alice Pratt, Courtney Stevens (Mid Gippsland Green), Jaclyn Douch, Beccy Mealing (Morwell Indoor), Meg Van Rooy, Ellen Mills, Halie McColl, Sarah Greenwood (Mid Gippsland White), Nicole Coates, Christie Hillberg, Tess Angarane and Kimberley Hillberg (Alberton).

IN the 17 and under grand final, Alberton had a 43-36 win over Gippsland.

Both teams began with relative confidence and focus, the only exception being Alberton’s Brittany Thomas, who missed more than 50 per cent of her shots in the first quarter.

Thomas’ inaccuracy could have been costly as it allowed Gippsland to lead by two goals at quarter-time.

However, Thomas made amends and alongside Brittany Roffey in attack, evened the score going into the main break.

With Alberton making no changes for the third term, Gippsland coach Krissy Travers unexpectedly moved Shelby Wulffers from her natural position of wing defence to centre and benched Kasey Guttridge.

Not phased by the changes, Alberton continued its fluent movement of the ball, edging past Gippsland by two goals.

During the final quarter, Gippsland’s disrupted midcourt began to crumble with Alberton taking advantage to win its second consecutive premiership.

Alberton centre Shannon Danckert was named player of the match.

Gippsland’s Jayde Travers was named the division MVP and won the hot shot award.

Named in the 17 and under division all star team were Jayde Travers, Jami Cashman, Karlee Dal Pra, Amelia Charlton (Gippsland), Brittany Thomas, Shannon Danckert, Lauren Redpath (Alberton), Madelyn Gibson, Kirsty Hodgson (North Gippsland), Emily Morrison, Paige Robinson (Sale) and Sally Delller (East Gippsland).