The Preliminary Final Report

Northern Netball League – Division 4 – 2014

Lakeside 34 def Whittlesea 26

The stage was set. We were coming off a 25 goal loss. We were playing with our 58th different team combination for the season. We had a huge crowd cheering us on (Thanks Coach Ali, Skip, Sarah’s Mum and my Dad) and we were rearing to go against a team of 10 who often think they’re playing rugby not netball and their crowd of 50 at the family friendly time of 9:55pm.

It has been a long road to this final, and that was just the fact that we had to wait 22 hours of today to actually play the damn thing. This was like the day that never ended.

Griz, or as I like to call her ‘Mini Schitzy’, was back to serve Whittlesea another set of nightmares.
Cam completed a PT session and even had time to make and eat avocado toast, depriving herself of the usual ‘I’m running late, I need to eat Maccas’ scenario.

Bianca had so much time to contemplate the game; she forgot which venue she was going to and contemplated doing a tour of all three.

Maddy had to wait so long she actually recovered completely from that dreaded lurgy last week and was a picture of health by game time.

Coach Ali fought hard not to fall asleep and nap, resorting to becoming a professional tea drinker for the evening.

Sarah theoretically life saved lives all afternoon, and even though she had time to go home decided she was so exhausted that she got her mum to drive her (and thus conned a 4th person into coming and supporting us) and then played like she was fresh out of bed and bounding with energy.

I baked a batch of brownies and did some Yoga. And by did some Yoga I mean, I’ve never done it before and still had time to teach myself fifteen positions and complete an entire salute to the Sun.

And Shenae still rocked up on time, for Shenae, at 9:50pm.

And so it was. The elements, the circumstances and the time gods were stacked against us. But as with all good Disney movies, the Baby Jesus (Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, the musical producers and Walt Disney) were all on our side. They knew that deep down, the Lakeside 2s had the kind of character, resilience and gumption that would make Denzel Washington give inspirational speeches on cue. They knew that even though we don’t believe in warm ups or training, that we had the commitment to winning that would see us hold onto any lead. They knew that we all had 20cm and 10kgs on our opponents and were louder, bigger and just in general more all-round terrifying than our opposition. They also knew that our defenders actually know what three feet is, and backing us to win was in their best interests.

The aim was simple. Score 10 goals per quarter, and restrict them to 5. Break them early. Put your hands over the ball. And have fun.

It’s a marvelously simple game when everyone is on the same page and everyone wants to win. The skill of our shooters, the driving and persistent pressure of our Centre and WD and the defensive rebounding and pressure of our defenders tonight was second to none. It was impressive, consistent and dedicated. I very rarely say this on a netball court (mainly because it makes me sound like an absolute complete tosser) but it was peerless. And it was that good, I’m happy to sound like a tosser and say it again, simply peerless.

Tonight’s special mentions go to:

Cam’s vertical leap. For being so damn vertical. And Cam in general, for playing wingding like she’s LeBron James. LBJ sends his love Cam.

Bianca’s arms, for being longer than everyone else’s. Good golly that’s bloody handy in the goal ring.

Sarah’s timing. It gives her opponent no chance of actually getting the ball. Also equally as handy in the goal ring.

Shenae’s dribble passes to Maddy. So low that even when Shorty gets low, low, low he doesn’t get that low.

Maddy for being able to get that low and for being able to go go go. Fire or no fire. (But let’s be honest, she was that good she was ON fire)

Griz. For handing out front row tickets to the Griz show. She heard about you Jane and she’s determined to upstage you. It was great. It was so good I’m taking up a career in professional clapping and cheering.

And the umpires. If I could actually move after the game, I would have gotten down on my knees and praised them. They called obstruction. They called contact. They allowed contesting, hell they even called ‘POSSESSION’. More than once! It was an absolute delight to play a game where we were only playing against the opposition and not the whistle. It showed that when the umpiring cream rises to the top, so does the playing cream. And that cream of the crop, was Lakeside 2.

Next week Lakeside 2 play for the Premiership Threepeat in Division 4. We own this division, we own this timeslot, we own this court and Disney will probably own the film-rights once we own that Premiership Cup.
This shit is getting good. Stay tuned, because next week we break out the euphoric Whitney/Mariah music. And yes, it will be Oscar-worthy.

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