The Semi Final Report

Northern Netball League – Division 4 – 2014

Watsonia 43 def Lakeside 15

The Mighty Ducks. Miracle. Angels in the Outfield. Remember the Titans. The Rookie.

All good sporting movies start with a person or a team who are fumbling along, who are doubted, who have their challenges, who add a few people and lose a few to injury, and then who rise to the occasion only to fall over and just as you think all is lost, dig deep and find something more and eventually come out victorious. (And not just because everyone has paid $20 to see a movie that makes them feel warm and fuzzy) but because that’s how it works with teams who have the desire, talent and drive to win.

Like all good Disney movies, the Friday Night 2s quest for a threepeat has followed this (rather predictable plot line) for the course of this season.

The season started with a new collection of players, we got going, won a few games, and then we lost our Captain Courageous for the season to a knee injury and Michelle to work duties. But then we picked up our octopus arms defender Bianca and had some special guest appearances from Griz, Bec, Nikita, Suz, Allira, Jill and Schitzy to help the cause along. As the story usually goes, for our ‘trials and tribulations’ section of the film, we had a four week period where four of the team were attacked by a dreadful cold that meant they played with one lung collectively, Tina and Maddy rolled their ankles and then Sarah (ever the one to empathise) broke her finger and played with one hand.

But through the persistence and commitment of the team, there were many shining lights – including Emily Borci who finished 4th for goals scored in Div 4 this season (she must have a really good shooting partner who throws her the ball. All of the time.)

After finishing a comfortable second on the ladder, playing in a final with 5 and a half players and losing rather unceremoniously is the part where we think all is lost.

Tonight wasn’t what we planned, but it demonstrated the exceptional calibre of the team that we have, and the resilience we have to stick together when the conditions are less than ideal. (This is the part of the movie where they play that sombre music, that then builds into the inspirational chorus with a lot of violins and occasionally Whitney or Mariah belting out some uber inspiring lyrics – you’ve been warned, the ‘Divas Sing High Notes and Shit’ section is coming…)

Cam took on the mammoth task of playing Centre in a team with 5 against 7 (she’s mini but she plays like she’s LeBron James), Shenae debuted in defence (channeling Julie Corletto like a pro), Emily held up the attacking end (and her reputation as the 4th best shooter in the division), Maddy did a heroic job to come on the court with half a lung working and her eyes barely open as a dreaded lurgy attacked her immune system (you know those kids who get stung by bees and their faces swell up and they can’t move… that was Maddy, and she kept playing netball – breathing and seeing where she was going were not possible but that didn’t stop her.) And the enigmatic Sarah (apart from being just generally fabulous in defence and goals) even decided to fall over and start bleeding just so she could join in on the drama. ‪#‎commitment‬.

Tonight wasn’t a win, it was just the start of our finals campaign – and as everyone who has ever seen a Disney sporting movie knows (and if you haven’t, I will come and personally watch the Mighty Ducks with you this week), the glory of the threepeat of Premierships comes just after the hiccup. (As does the euphoric Whitney/Mariah music that then gets nominated for a ‘Best Musical Score’ Oscar).

Watch this space.

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