THE Gippsland League displayed its dominance in the Eastern Region State League netball competition, winning the open and 17 and under grand finals on Friday.
Both Gippsland teams will take their place in the Champions Challenge on Sunday, April 19 in Melbourne. The open team will meet Ballarat in a curtain raiser to Trans-Tasman Championship match between the Melbourne Vixens and Southern Steel.
East Gippsland prevented a Gippsland clean sweep in the 15 and under grand final on Sunday.
AFTER successfully appealing a decision to award its semi-final to Pakenham, Gippsland’s 17 and under team defeated East Gippsland in the grand final to complete an unbeaten run.
Gippsland goal shooter Daisy Hill was given some unwanted attention from East’s defenders but withstood the pressure. At the other end, East goal attack Emmagyn Williams executed near perfect high shot scoring.
A second quarter lapse in concentration found East down by three goals at half-time. East began the third quarter the same way it finished the second, allowing Gippsland to build nine-goal margin going into the final term.
East’s efforts to shut down the dominance of Gippsland was gallant however it was unable to sustain the pressure.
Gippsland won 45-33 with Hill named as most valuable player.
IN the open grand final, Gippsland came out of the blocks firing and never looked back, defeating Morwell Navy 54-41.
Gippsland defenders Ally Petrou and Caitlan Ponton made it hard for Morwell to get to the ball to its goalers.
Gippsland’s goalers remained strong and accurate as Morwell’s defenders were slow off the mark and not reading their opponents’ moves. Gippsland captain Courtney Blair worked hard in the centre court as well as the goals and was instrumental in assists for goaling partner and former state team representative Ramayer Gourley.
Morwell struggled to match the dominance of Gippsland wing attack and former Australian schoolgirl representative Taylah Bott. Even the athleticism of Samantha Pearce wasn’t enough to stop the relentless effort and work ethic of Bott, who was awarded with the match MVP.
THERE was a tie for the 17 and under season MVP award between East Gippsland’s Emmagyn Williams and Pakenham’s Ashleigh Barnett.
Gippsland’s Ramayer Gourley was awarded with the open honour.
Teammate Jayde Travers was awarded the open division hot shot award with Pakenham’s Alicia Scott the 17 and under.
The all star teams were also named.
The 17 and under goal end is Emmagyn Williams (East Gippsland), Daisy Hill (Gippsland), Laura Jones (Sale) and Alicia Scott (Pakenham), mid-court players are Ashleigh Barnett (Pakenham), Paige Biddle, Ella Henderson (Gippsland) and Alana Hanegraaf (Alberton), and the defenders, which included five players because of a tie, are Maggie Tatterson, Layla Simmons (Sale), Taylah Ferguson, Shannon Freeman (Gippsland) and Hayley Messen (Pakenham).
The open all star goalers are Ramayer Gourley, Courtney Blair (Gippsland), Kim Hillberg (Alberton) and Claire Allison (Morwell Navy), mid-court players Stacey O’Brien (Gippsland), Kate Sidebottom (Alberton), Rachel Allison and Jacklyn Hiriaki (Morwell Navy), with the defenders Christie Hillberg (Alberton), Courtney Garth and Lexi Bowe (Morwell Navy).
UNDEFEATED East Gippsland won the 15 and under premiership for the second season, defeating Gippsland 36-35 on Sunday in Sale.
East led by four goals for most of the game but Gippsland fought back. Gippsland pegged East back to one goal and the crowd was preparing for extra time as Gippsland lined-up for a shot, but it was missed with East Gippsland securing the ball in the final seconds.