There was an upset win in the Mixed Indoor Netball grand final last week with Benchwarmers sensationally beating The Opposition 26-25.
The Opposition were the competition favourites going into last Tuesday night’s game at the youth centre.
After taking a lead from the outset (which they held on to right up until the end of the third quarter) it looked like it was going to be a fait accompli that The Opposition would also win the grand final.
Benchwarmers however picked up the pace in the second half after trailing 11-15 at the break, and they outpointed The Opposition 4-3 in the third quarter, which marked the start of a very spirited fightback.
The men’s Player of the Grand Final, Sione Fakahau, led the charge and showed his versatility as a netballer, playing well in both shooting and defensive positions.
Fakahau combined with his Centre, Loma Atuau (who dominated the centre court), and shooter Sam Vaka to spur the team onto a one point win.
Vaka had an outstanding game and shot fluently and effortlessly all match to be named the female Player of the Grand Final.
The match was a good one to watch.
It was played at a fast pace and there was plenty of contest over the ball at every pass.
The Opposition had made a good start, but constant changes to player positions didn’t work in their favour.
Their starting combinations of Kym Sutton and Zach Finn shooting, and siblings Amie Hill and Tony Jacklin defending, worked best for them.
Going into the final quarter, The Opposition had a narrow three points lead and after the Benchwarmers had taken the ascendency in the third quarter, The Opposition were forced to reconsider their tactics.
They were also hindered after losing defence/mid court player Alex Hernando to an ankle injury and Hill took the court late (after being called away to ‘mummy duties’), and they got off to a slow start.
Benchwarmers made the most of their disorganisation and systematically wore down the score to grab the lead in the final minutes of play. The Opposition threw everything they had left into the match and Finn’s long range goal 30 seconds before full time had them one shot down with a thin hope of a tied game if they could turn the ball over to score.
Benchwarmers however held on to claim the thrilling one point win.
The end of season presentations followed the game with Best and Fairest players of the season announced. It was a three-way tie between Cameron van Breugel, Rachel Gentles and Adrienne Pierini.