Ballz Up put in a gusty effort to win netball grand final

Ballz Up (Ashley Place, Regena Nasser, Jessica Vaka, Sam Vaka, Nikki Gilbert, Anita Atua and Erica Chambers) were winners of the Women’s Indoor Netball grand final on Monday night. They beat Council Babes 28-23.

Ballz Up put in a gutsy effort to win the Women’s Indoor Netball grand final on Monday night at the youth centre.

They started and finished confidently to claim a 28-23 over Council Babes.

Ballz Up had gone into the game as favourites after having finished at the top of the competition to earn the first grand final berth.

They came up against Council Babes, who have been in sensational form coming into the final series, and who last week advanced to the grand final after their very comprehensive
32-9 win over The Young and the Restless.

Starting with just the required seven players (and no substitutes on the bench), Ballz Up took the lead from the outset with confident passing and shooting by Nikki Gilbert who combined well with Sam Vaka in the circle to give their side an 8-5 lead at the first break.

Demi Smith was injected into the second quarter for the Council Babes and had an immediate impact on play with Smith defending strongly and calling the shots for the rest of her team back behind play.

Smith’s defence was also putting plenty of pressure on Gilbert under the ring who was forced to attempt shots from further out.

Council Babes’ Goal Shooter Karen Warren, who moves quickly around the circle, had her eye in and kept the scoring ticking over for her side.

Strong centre court play by Ballz Up, led by Anita Atuau, forced a number of mid court turnovers to give Ballz Up the bulk of possession and they took a 17-13 lead at half time.

Council Babes owned the third quarter with their Centre Stephanie Baker taking advantage of a numbers overlap after a Ballz Up player failed to take the court due to sickness.

Baker directed the mid court play which helped to give Council Babes plenty of opportunities in the third quarter.

Warren and Janette Booth (Goal Attack) both obliged their team and outpointed Ballz Up in the third quarter to level the scores to 22-all at three quarter time.

Ballz Up restarted the final quarter with a full side but mixed up their defensive tactics and put Regena Nasser in to defend Warren.

Nasser was able to match Warren’s pace while their Goal Defence Erica Chambers’ height worried Booth and they put plenty of pressure on the Council Babes shooters who were forced to rush their shots.

Gilbert and Vaka (who was named Player of the Grand Final) however remained cool under pressure for Ballz Up to take the lead and they finished with a five goals win.