Longreach Netball Finals

A-grade runner-ups, 'You Goal Girls.'

The Longreach Netball Association’s season reached its boiling point last Friday 1 December, with four teams making a play at the respective A and B-grade grand final matches.

The top-seeded ‘The Dream Team’ faced up against the second-seeded ‘You Goal Girls’ in the A-grade final, while the fifth-seeded ‘Shooting Stars’ matched up with the sixth-seeded ‘Men in Black’ for a thrilling B-grade final.

The first pass was at 6pm in the shootout for the B-grade bragging rights before what many anticipated to be the main event, as the A-graders took to the court just an hour later.

The B-grade game was competitive from the first whistle, with both sides going back and forth throughout the opening instalments.

As the match went on, the ‘Shooting Stars’ were able to overcome the ‘Men in Black,’ cruising to a 27-16 win.

A slow start for ‘You Goal Girls’ made it a much tougher assignment against their more fancied opponents, and while their intensity was maintained throughout the entirety of the match, top-seeded rivals proved to be too clinical.

‘The Dream Team’s’ experience in attack and defence was too strong, which ultimately saw them take out a comfortable 38-10 win.

Ash Boyd of the ‘Shooting Stars’ and Sam Hughes from ‘The Dream Team’ were the Players of the Games in their respective Grand Final appearances.

President of the Longreach Netball Association Erina Ormond said that she was delighted with how the season unfolded, saying that last weekend’s grand finals were the perfect end to a great season.

“The Grand Final this year saw four competitive teams fight for the title, while the results were convincing it certainly illustrated the spirited 10-team competition we had in 2023 for mixed,” Erina Ormond said.

“While a December grand final does come with slightly lower crowd numbers, we are grateful for the support we have received.

“A huge thank you must go to the volunteers, officials and committee for their hard work over the season.

“Netball has one of the largest participation rates for our juniors and for them to have a goal and somewhere to aim we need to ensure we have strong ladies and mixed competitions that they not only aspire to but also can learn something from.”

Erina is excited about what is on the horizon in the coming year, which includes changes of the competition as a whole.

“2024 is going to see a shake-up of the ladies’ structure, where we will be shortening the season and reducing the costs associated with participation,” Erina Ormond said.

“We would love to see as many women as possible get involved in not only the playing group but also the officials in support of our juniors.

“We are trying to get at least two coaches per age group next year with an emphasis on gameplay and match fitness.

“Without our officials, our game does not exist – we will be offering more opportunities for officials to further their skills and gain experience in game situations.

“Our committee will advertise our AGM and we would love to see as many people there as possible.

“Thank you for a great 2023 we look forward to a successful 2024.”