South Australia has produced outstanding performances to bring home the gold medal in both the 17/U and 19/U divisions at the National Netball Championships, the first time in 16 years that a state has won both age groups at the competition.
Six days of netball action at the Queensland State Netball Centre in Brisbane culminated with South Australia claiming the top spot on Tuesday, cheered on by the loud and passionate Red Army, with family, friends and supporters of the South Australia team filling the stands.
The 17/U Grand Final was fiercely contested however South Australia kept New South Wales at bay to win 35 to 30 and claim a fourth straight national title, all lead by Lee-Anne Cummins as Head Coach. South Australia’s Georgie Horjus was named MVP of the Grand Final.
South Australia’s Kimberley Hearnden was named MVP of the tournament for the 17/U age group after performing consistently well over the six days of play. The 2019 National Netball Championships was the first campaign for Kimberley from Barossa and Light Netball Association – the Angaston shooter has never participated in any city netball competitions.
Following the tournament, Lee-Anne Cummins, SA 17/U Head Coach, said that the team continued to build throughout the week and delivered an outstanding performance in the gold medal match.
“I’m really proud of the way they developed over the week culminating in a great team performance in the Grand Final,” she said.
The South Australian 19/U team also defeated New South Wales in a commanding performance, finishing with a 49 to 20 win in the Grand Final to claim their first gold medal since 2013 and South Australia’s Tyler Orr was named MVP of the match.
Finishing fourth after the minor round of the championship, the team went into the finals as the underdog and utilised a slick game plan to narrowly defeat top-placed Queensland to book their spot in the gold medal match.
Another expertly crafted display in the Grand Final saw the team creating opportunities and capitalising on opposition errors to earn a first-place finish with a 29-goal margin in the closing match of the National Netball Championships.
Speaking after her team’s championship win, Kirsty Leonard-Down, SA 19/U Head Coach, said that a solid game plan combined with the team’s outstanding skills lead to a convincing win.
“I’m elated with the display of the team executing their game plan and their ability to shine,” she said.