Divas take home the A Grade trophy

The winners of the B Grade senior netball grand final on Saturday, Real Steel, celebrated with champagne after their fightback win over Golfie Mystics. It was Real Steel third consecutive appearance in a B Grade grand final but only the first year they’ve come away with a win. And the win was a thriller with the match looking like it could have been a draw just minutes out from fulltime. Real Steel however powered on to eventually post a three point win, 32-29, over the Mystics

Two thrilling games worthy of grand fi-nals were played out for the end of the sen-ior netball competition on Saturday after-noon at Ward Oval.
Divas prevailed to win the A Grade grand final in a comeback effort with a 39-30 victory over the JKM Dynamic Fitness team.
After they missed out on grand final glory in their two previous seasons, Real Steel were finally able to eventually hoist the B Grade trophy high when they beat Golfie Mystics 32-29, in what was another close game.
As the 2021 A Grade minor premiers, Divas went into Saturday’s grand final as favourites but knew they would have a tough game up against the young guns, JKM, who have con-tinued to improve at a rapid rate this season.
JKM started the match with great intensity which they continued throughout the first half.
They upset the Divas from the get go scoring the first two goals before the Divas recovered to bring the scores back to level.
There were some very good match-ups on the court and spectators witnessed a great con-test in Divas’ shooting circle with their star shooter, Lauren Urquhart, up against JKM’s towering and agile defence, Hannah Carroll.
Urquhart is arguably one of the best shooters in the league while Carroll’s long reach and good vision ensured she gained lots of re-bounds and intercepts throughout the match.
The JKM players intensely contested the ball at every opportunity all up and down the court as the two sides went goal for goal and the scores were locked at 7-all at the first break.
The battle for ascendency continued through-out the second quarter and, despite both sides making some minor positional changes at the break, including Carroll moving to shooter for JKM, the arm wrestle continued with former Blues defender, Demi Smith, given the task of containing Carroll.
At half time JKM had a one goal advantage, 18-17. That was when Divas veteran, Lisa Travis, decided it was time to come out of the shooting circle and into the Centre position where she could better control the flow of the game. The tactic had the desired effect.
The Divas, with their many years of playing experience on their side, systematically set about wearing down JKM’s attack and Divas were up four goals going into the final quarter JKM wasn’t however yet beaten and they came out fighting to immediately score three rapid goals to bring the margin back to just one point the difference.
Divas then had to start playing smarter (as their superior fitness factor was most definite-ly JKM’s biggest asset).
Divas brought a lot more lob passes into play which were near impossible to defend.
Urquhart continued to goal from all over the circle and she and Janette Bishop (3rd quarter, and then Travis, who went back to shoot in the final quarter) made the most of every shooting opportunity they were given.
Meanwhile at the other end of the court, Smith and Player of the Grand Final, Corinne McLeod, who seemed to find another gear in the final quarter, did everything they could to limit JKM’s shooting chances, which was a tough ask as Elleise Woodbridge, Carrol and Sally O’Brien were not missing many of their shots. Despite some sensational athleticism from the JKM side, in particular Neve Carter, who was hard to get the ball past in defence, Divas stubbornly held out to claim a 39-30 win.
Both A Grade captains, Summer Patterson (Divas) and Alex Brown (JKM) praised the efforts of the young JKM team members.
For a number of JKM players it was just their second year playing in the senior compe-tition while for one, Molly Broughton, it was her first season coming up from juniors.
All of the players well and truly rose to the occasion which made for a brilliant game to watch.