Mixed & Matched claim back-to-back Fast5 premiers titles

Mixed & Matched at last week’s Fast5 netball presentations. ▪ Photo contributed

After dominating the competition all season, Mixed & Matched claimed the Fast5 netball crown for the second season running.

Mixed & Matched (M&Ms) earnt their second successive premiership title (the first to do so in five competitions) when they accounted for Rusty Snails 42-31 in last Tuesday night’s grand final at Ward Oval.

Both teams had a string of excellent shooters at their disposal for the match.

Jaxon Burke, a master of the long shot, was the match’s top scorer.

Burke contributed 18 points to M&Ms’ tally and team mate Lauren Urquhart added 14 points.

For Rusty Snails, Nikki Gilbert finished the game with 14 goals and Nathan Prince, with 13 points, were their leading point scorers.

M&M won the toss and elected to take the first centre pass.

A quick intercept by Prince, which resulted in Rusty Snails scoring the first point and then taking a 6-1 lead, initially shook up the M&M’s team.

Burke then entered the game and turned things around for M&Ms.

While both sides had scored seven goals each in the first quarter, M&Ms had the upper hand as four of their shots were two-pointers.

All of Rusty Snails’ goals were one-pointers,  which gave M&Ms an 11-7 advantage at the first break.

Rusty Snails closed the gap to just two points by half time after they used their Power Play option in the second quarter.

M&Ms defenders Sarah Nicholson, Tim Woods and their most effective defending combination, Tyler Coughlan and Brianna Watson, however kept the pressure on.

Rusty Snails again dominated the third quarter as Gilbert teamed up with Ethan McLeod to outpoint M&Ms 8-5 and take a one point lead, 23-22.

M&Ms were however not fazed as they still had their Power Play card up their sleeve.

They scored 20 points to Rusty Snails’ eight points in the final quarter to claim the win.

Presentations followed the match with M&Ms collecting the perpetual trophy.

It was a four-way tie this season for the competition’s Favourite Fiver with Jaxon Burke (M&Ms), Graham Manuai (Lillies), Sione Fakahua (Fast Fobs) and Ben McBride (Rusty Snails) sharing the title.