THE KNTNA A grade girls played some very competitive netball over the State championship weekend.
Saturday was our toughest day on the body with four consecutive games.
Our first game we took on the River Murray (who went on to win the competition).
It was a tough physical game that delivered with some great passages of play.
River Murray was a well-oiled unit and clearly had played together before.
We managed to keep up with them until half time but unfortunately the game slipped out of our reach.
Game two was another tough one and one that we should have won however; we were still making our rotations and trialling different playing combinations.
This game allowed us to play some of our younger girls who stood up the occasions and performed well at a high level.
Our playing style improved as the day progressed and we went on to win the next two games against Northern Eyre and Mid SE.
Leading into day two of the comp we were sitting fourth and yet to play the team which was undefeated (Great Southern).
With only one game on the Sunday the girls really focused on the task at hand and studied our opponent's game play.
Game time came and we were switched on and ready for an upset. Without disappointment the girls were playing at their best.
We were strong at the ball had great passages of play down the court and were not let down in the goal circle. As we assumed Great Southern made the changes and brought on their big guns in the hope they would wipe us off the court. Unfortunately for them we were prepared for this move and had strategized how to beat them at their game.
With some awesome defending, whole court pressure and accuracy under the post we ran away winners by seven goals.
This win cemented our spot in fourth place and we thought we would be making finals. Unfortunately we lost our last game of the minor round and the team above us also lost and this was enough to drop us out of the top four by one per cent.
It was devastating to finish the weekend knowing we missed out by the narrowest of margins but it also displayed how close and even the A grade compeition was.
Although we didn't make finals we had a great weekend of high level netball and we were able to showcase that the KNTNA is a strong and viable association.
Further to this we had Georgia Nolan from Border Districts make the A grade top 10 players for the weekend which is an amazing effort for her and a positive boost for her club.
The A grade team consisted of team manager Rachel Mahney (Border Districts), Tracey Poulton (C) Bordertown, Ange Donnelly (VC) and Emillie Thring (Kyby), Georgia Nolan and Tyler Atkinson (Border Districts), Nikki Smart and Amanda Stewart (Lucindale), Ally Wendelborn (Mundulla), Georgia Cadzow (Keith) and Tessa Cappelluti (Naracoorte).
I would especially like to thank Rachel Mahney for being my fabulous team manager and all the girls for committing to the weekend and putting in such a great effort.
- A grade coach Karen Justin